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Nanotechnology Report

Printed Photovoltaics: Market Opportunities for the Materials and PV Industry - 2009 to 2016

Category: Transport, Energy & Environment Published: Jul 2009 View Contents
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Printing has always had a role in photovoltaics: the top electrodes for conventional crystalline silicon PV are inevitably screened silver. However, the opportunities for using printing technology in the PV industry has expanded enormously in the past few years and now includes not just the printing of electrodes, but of the core PV absorber layer itself, which is increasingly a thin-film material and thus printable.

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From the PV side of the house, firms have been driven to consider and use printing technology in the belief that R2R printing technologies will reduce the cost of manufacturing compared with the more usual PVD approaches to manufacturing. In addition, printing technologies also seem well suited to the plastic substrates and organic PV materials that are now being developed and deployed in the PV industry. On the other hand, from the perspective of functional printing, PV represents a growth market in an era in which many of the other market sectors that were supposed to drive printed electronics have gone dry. Printed PV is, however, a business with its own unique issues; printing PV tends to reduce conversion, efficiencies.

In this report, weidentifies and quantify the markets and opportunities for printed PV. It discusses both the printing of electrodes and the absorber layer for silicon, CdTe, CIGS, organic (OPV) and dye sensitive cell (DSC) PV. This report identifies the types of printing being developed for each of the TFPV materials and discusses the impact this will have for materials and equipment suppliers. Where appropriate, short profiles of key firms are provided. Finally, eight-year forecasts are provided for each of the printed PV technologies.