Technoeconomic Analysis of Photovoltaics Module Manufacturing with Thin Silicon Wafers

Michael Woodhouse, Zhe Liu, Sarah Sofia, Hannu Laine, Sarah Wieghold, Ian Peters, Tonio Buonassisi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations


Reducing silicon usage by adopting thinner wafers can significantly reduce capital expenditure (capex) and cost, and thus accelerate the growth of manufacturing capacity and deployment. In this work, we evaluated potential benefits of thin Si wafers for current and future PV modules. We apply a technoeconomic framework that couples bottom-up cost model, and a cash-flow growth model to analyze PV modules with thin wafers. First, we show that, comparing the current PERC with 160 μm thick wafers to the high-efficiency concept with 50 μm thin wafers, the capex is reduced from 0.39 to 0.2 /(W/year) while the cost is from 0.32 to 0.2 W. Second, the potential of accelerated deployment is analyzed for the high-efficiency thin wafer concept. We found the significant advantages of higher growth rate (∼20% relative) and higher deployment plateau (∼3 times) than the current PERC modules.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


Conference46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-76316


  • PV manufacturing
  • technoeconomic analysis
  • thin silicon wafers


Dive into the research topics of 'Technoeconomic Analysis of Photovoltaics Module Manufacturing with Thin Silicon Wafers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this