Cost Reduction Program for Solar Cell Manufacturing Processes

  • Status
  • Status date

The focus of the program is a comprehensive improvement of the manufacturing technology for the new 30%-class triple junction solar cell, which shall be the top product for the coming years replacing the current 28%-class triple junction cell. Bringing this cell to a commercial product requires outstanding efforts with regard to materials and process optimisation, performance stabilisation and costs. Therefore, AZUR SPACE is urged to evaluate all their materials, processes and equipment with regard to savings potential at simultaneously improving performance, quality and reproducibility.


The main challenges are to identify and optimise critical processes regarding throughput time, uptime, yield, process media and tools as well as material properties after certain process steps; furthermore material quality along the full supply chain was investigated and improved.


The main benefits are cost savings in the manufacturing process as well as investigation and optimization of machinery, maintenance cycles, material structures, process parameters and control. This includes many well based simplifications, standardizations and optimizations of techniques and processes.


The viewgraph shows the concept of new triple junction solar cell:

click for larger image


The project contains two phases.


Target: Process  Enhancement and Stabilisation
Workpackages include:

  • Critical Analysis of 3G30% solar cell manufacturing process. Identification improvements,
  • Epitaxial processes,
  • Quality control,
  • Modern Machinery,
  • Infrastructure: Material supply quality,
  • Solar cell reproducibility and fast cell processing.


Target: Manufacture and Test
Workpackage includes:

  • Pilot production, verification test,
  • Final evaluation.
Current status

Current manufacturing process as well as material and growth control have been developed and transferred from development to pilot production followed by a ramp-up of mass production.