International photovoltaics conference in Konstanz

SiliconPV 2022: The University of Konstanz invites international experts from science and industry to attend the conference and associated workshops in the Konstanzer Konzil

Leading experts in silicon photovoltaics are meeting at the SiliconPV 2022 international conference from 28-30 March 2022 in the Konzil building and online to discuss current developments and challenges in the field of photovoltaics research. After the conference, two associated workshops, nPV and bifiPV, will also take place from 30 March to 1 April 2022 in the Konzil building. Early-bird registration is available until 1 March 2022. The events are hosted by researchers from the University of Konstanz, Professor Giso Hahn in particular, who chairs this year's conference committee and is head of the Photovoltaics Division in the Department of Physics.

Photovoltaics as a key zero-emission technology
Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of solar energy to electricity using solar cells. For many years already, this form of electricity generation that does not release emissions in the conversion process has been booming around the world. In Germany, too, the solar sector is gaining new strength after an economically challenging period, and solar energy has become an important driver of the transition to cleaner energy sources. In 2021, about ten percent of the net electricity generation in Germany came from photovoltaic sources – and this amount continues to grow.

"The ideas that solar energy is expensive and that solar modules need more energy to manufacture than they would ever convert to electricity have long since been disproved", says Giso Hahn. Progress in the area of materials science and increased automation of the manufacturing process mean that today's solar energy is both sustainable and economical. "In Germany, electricity from larger photovoltaic power plants can be generated at levelized costs of electricity of four to five cents per kilowatt-hour. That is less than the cost of generating electricity from fossil fuels like lignite, hard coal or natural gas", Giso Hahn states and adds: "And even in our latitude, a solar module only needs about a year to deliver the same amount of energy as it took to produce the module".

A significant platform for exchange on the topic of silicon photovoltaics
About 95% of solar cells currently on the market are manufactured on the basis of crystalline silicon, making it the most important technology in the global market for photovoltaics. The SiliconPV 2022 conference will provide one of the world's largest platforms for scientific exchange on this technology – with more than 300 international participants expected to join the event either in Konstanz or online. This is the second time the event takes place in Konstanz and the twelfth time overall.

"The conference has an outstanding international reputation – among experts from both science and industry. This is mainly due to the high quality of conference presentations that were accepted to the programme on the basis of a double blind review process", Giso Hahn explains. Consequently, participants from science and industry can discuss high-quality research results involving current challenges and perspectives in the field of silicon photovoltaics with each other. The shared goal: reducing the cost of industrial production of photovoltaic systems and thus further reducing the levelized costs of photovoltaic electricity while increasing the effectiveness and durability of solar modules.

SiliconPV and workshops: The programme
The SiliconPV 2022 conference will take place from 28 to 30 March 2022. Early-bird registration is available until 1 March 2022. The conference will open with four key presentations from different fields that will give a first impression of the diversity of the relevant research topics in silicon photovoltaics.

The first day will close with a virtual tour of the photovoltaics labs at the University of Konstanz where, under the leadership of Giso Hahn, researchers work on a better physical understanding and industrial-type manufacturing of silicon solar cells. Through the transfer of production processes from the university's research into industrial applications, the University of Konstanz has contributed multiple times to the global success of solar energy.

On the other days of the event, participants can listen to presentations and participate in poster sessions on topics from current research in silicon photovoltaics. The last of these sessions will link the conference to the first of the associated workshops (nPV; workshop led by: Dr Barbara Terheiden, University of Konstanz) which will take place on 30 and 31 March and will provide perspectives on the usage of n-type solar cells. The second associated workshop will take place on 31 March and 1 April 2022 (bifiPV; workshop led by: Dr Radovan Kopecek, ISC Konstanz) and will discuss bifacial solar modules that collect light from both the front and back sides.

Use synergies
Like the conference, both workshops will take place in the Konzil building. The difference is that, in addition to academic researchers, the workshops will include mainly speakers from the industry. "Linking the associated workshops to SiliconPV has advantages for everyone", Giso Hahn says. "The workshops are intentionally more industry-focused so that academic researchers can stay apprised of current research and development in the industry and see how results from research can be implemented. This provides a basis for everyone to contribute to the discussion".

Key facts:

  • Events: SiliconPV 2022 conference and associated workshops nPV and bifiPV
  • Hosted by: The University of Konstanz, especially the Department of Physics' Photovoltaics Division led by Professor Giso Hahn (chair of the conference committee)
  • Topic: Latest technologies, materials and concepts for solar cells and modules made from crystalline silicon
  • Dates: 28-30 March 2022 (SiliconPV 2022); 30-31 March 22 (nPV workshop); 31 March-1 April 2022 (bifiPV workshop); early-bird registration available until 1 March 2022
  • Location: Konzil Konstanz (Hafenstrasse 2, 78462 Konstanz, GERMANY) and online (hybrid event)
  • Registration and programme: SiliconPV 2022 website