Trina Solar, a global company in photovoltaic (PV) modules, solutions and services, announced that its State Key Laboratory (SKL) of PV Science and Technology (PVST) has set a new record of 24.13% total-area efficiency for a large-area (156 x 156mm2) n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cell.
The record-breaking n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization. The 156×156 mm2 solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 24.13% as independently measured by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET). The IBC solar cell has a total measured area of 243.3cm2 and was measured without any aperture. The champion cell presents the following characteristics: an open-circuit voltage Voc of 702.7mV, a short-circuit current density Jsc of 42.1 mA/cm2 and a fill factor FF of 81.47%.
In February 2014, Trina Solar and the Australian National University (ANU) jointly announced a world record aperture efficiency of 24.37% for a laboratory-scale 4cm2 IBC solar cell, fabricated on a Float Zone (FZ) n-type substrate and using photolithography patterning. In December 2014, Trina Solar announced a 22.94% total-area efficiency for an industrial version, large size (156x 156mm2, 6″ substrate), IBC solar cell. In April 2016, Trina Solar announced an improved industrial low-cost IBC solar cell with a total-area efficiency of 23.5%. The new record of 24.13% total-area efficiency is just 0.24% absolute below the small-area laboratory cell record aperture-efficiency jointly established by the Company and ANU. Total-area efficiencies are always lower than aperture-efficiencies, due to efficiency losses related to the edges of the cells and electrical contact areas.
“We are very delighted to announce the latest achievement from our research team at the SKL PVST. Over the last few years, our R&D team has managed to continuously improve the efficiency of our n-type IBC solar cells, pushing the limits and surpassing our previous records, and approaching very closely to the performance of our best small-area laboratory cell developed in collaboration with ANU three years ago.” said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar. “IBC solar cells are one of the most efficient silicon solar cells available today and are particularly suitable for applications for which the requirement of a high power density is more important than LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity).
Our IBC cell program has always focused on the development of large-area cells and low-cost industrial processes. We are very happy to announce today that our industrial large area IBC cell has reached almost the same level of performance as the small-area laboratory cell made three years ago with a photolithography process. In an innovation-driven PV industry, Trina Solar is always focused on developing leading-edge PV technologies and products with improved cell efficiency and reduced system cost. Our goal is to insist on technological innovation, and transform as quickly as possible the laboratory technology into commercial production.”
Image credit: By Klaus Mueller – This image is a cutout of an image by Klaus Mueller, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34948067
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.