REPTILE project ("Repairing of Photovoltaic Wafers and Solar Cells by Laser Enabled Silicon Processing") will develop a laser-based technique for repairing of broken and defective silicon cells and wafers, improving the yield of the European wafer and cell manufacturers, and representing an opportunity for European SMEs for the reuse of scrapped and recovered silicon to produce custom PV products at low price, covering a growing demand for small format, semi-transparent or custom shape PV cells. The concept is based in the automated defect recognition and classification performed on C or D class cells, and the subsequent laser reprocessing to obtain a smaller A-class cell.

The work plan is designed to end up with a prototype system, able to automatically select and cut or isolate non-defective areas in scrap cells and wafers, with computer based calculation of the best geometry for maximum efficiency and minimum waste of material. Proof-of-concept modules will be then built, installed and tested to assess the market potential.

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 286955