The issue of potential-induced degradation (PID) has gained more concerns due to causing the catastrophic failures in photovoltaic (PV) modules. One of the approaches to diminish PID is to modify the anti-reflection coating (ARC) layer upon the front surface of crystalline silicon solar cells. Here, we focus on the modification of ARC films to realize PID-free step-by-step through three delicate experiments. Firstly, the ARC films deposited by direct plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and by indirect PECVD were investigated. The results showed that the efficiency degradation of solar cells by indirect PECVD method is up to -33.82%, which is out of the IEC 62804 standard and is significantly more severe than by the direct PECVD method (-0.82%). Next, the performance of PID-resist for the solar cell via indirect PECVD was improved significantly (PID reduced from -31.82% to -2.79%) by a pre-oxidation step, which not only meets the standard but also has higher throughput than direct PECVD. Lastly, we applied a novel PECVD technology, called the pulsed-plasma (PP) PECVD method, to deal with the PID issue. The results of the HF-etching rate test and FTIR measurement indicated the films deposited by PP PECVD have higher potential against PID in consideration of less oxygen content in this film. That demonstrated the film properties were changed by applied a new control of freedom, i.e., PP method. In addition, the 96 h PID result of the integrated PP method was only -2.07%, which was comparable to that of the integrated traditional CP method. In summary, we proposed three effective or potential approaches to eliminate the PID issue, and all approaches satisfied the IEC 62804 standard of less than 5% power loss in PV modules.
- Anti-reflection coating
- Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
- Potential-induced degradation
- Solar cell