The Swiss-inno HJT

The Swiss-Inno HJT project targets R&D-scale pilot production of high-performance, low-cost solar cells and modules, and to demonstrate the superior performance of the developed technologies in monitored photovoltaic systems. The project is funded by the project partners and receives financial support from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy’s (SFOE) in the frame of their ‘Pilot and Demonstrators Program’ and the Canton of Neuchâtel.

The Swiss-Inno HJT project involves Meyer Burger Technology Ltd, its local subsidiaries Roth & Rau Research SA and PASAN SA, as well as the PV-center of CSEM SA. The project started on 1st of October 2013 and will run over a period of 3 years.

The Swiss-Inno HJT project focuses on the Silicon Heterojunction Technology (HJT), which consists in thin hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) layers deposited on both sides of monocrystalline silicon wafers. The project supports the set-up of two R&D platforms: a HJT cell pilot line in the new infrastructures of Roth & Rau Research AG in Hauterive, Switzerland, and a HJT cell metallization line at the PV-center of CSEM in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. These are complementary to the wafer line and the SmartWire module line of Meyer Burger AG in Thun, Switzerland. This enables the Swiss-Inno HJT pilot production line to encompass all production steps of the Silicon Heterojunction technology: sawing of silicon ingots into wafers, wafer texturing and cleaning, amorphous silicon deposition, deposition of transparent conductive oxide layers, advanced cell metallization, SmartWire cell interconnection and glass-glass module encapsulation. These key research and development platforms will enable continuous improvement and optimization of the production processes, and will bring further innovations in PV technology to maturity under industrial-like production conditions in order to maintain a competitive edge.


The end goal of the Swiss-Inno HJT project is the successful market entry of the Heterojunction Technology (HJT), to realize export opportunities for the Swiss photovoltaic industry. The successful market entry of HJT is expected to contribute to further price reductions for PV power systems in general and to significantly lower the overall cost of solar electricity production. Heterojunction silicon technology is especially suitable for energy-efficient roof installations and building integration and could therefore become a preferred technology for Swiss domestic market applications. This will support the Swiss federal energy strategy 2050 which targets an increased share of renewable electricity in the future energy mix.

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy’s (SFOE) “Pilot and Demonstrators Program” promotes the development of energy technologies in the efficiency and renewable energy sector. By supplementing projects initiated by the private sector and research institutions, it sets out to fill certain knowledge gaps, promote the further development of promising technologies and demonstrate the status of technology for more widespread application.

The Swiss-Inno HJT project will set-up high performance PV systems integrating the different modules generations developed in the pilot production line. Outdoor demonstration PV systems will be monitored and benchmarked against state-of-the-art commercial module technologies to show the superior performance and energy yield achieved with the Swiss-Inno HJT technologies.    



CSEM Meyer Burger BFE NE.CH