German DBU supports PV2+ and Better Sol start-ups

The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) is funding two start-ups focusing on resource conservation in photovoltaics. Better Sol GmbH from Braunschweig will receive €124,040 over two years, while PV2+ GmbH from Freiburg will also receive €125,000 over two years.
Luisa Schulze and Mirko Laube from Better Sol (photo) are working on an intelligent test procedure for used photovoltaic systems. Modules that still work are sold in the start-up's online shop. The DBU funding will enable the company to offer a full range of services, from assembly and installation of used modules to consulting.
PV2+, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, has developed a special electroplating process that can be used to replace silver with copper in module production. When nickel (as a diffusion barrier between the copper and the silicon) and copper are applied directly to the cell surface by electroplating, the contact fingers can also be significantly thinner, which increases the efficiency because the photovoltaic active surface of the cell is less shaded. With the help of DBU funding, the technology is now to be brought into production.
Switching from silver to copper has long been a goal of the solar industry. Just a few days ago, the Australian company Sundrive opened a pilot production plant for silver-free solar cells.

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