More than 20 percent efficiency: SCHOTT Solar sets new record for monocrystalline screen-printed solar cells
SCHOTT Solar has achieved yet another top performance. The solar company based in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in manufacturing the world's first industrial size 156 mm x 156 mm monocrystalline screen-printed solar cell that achieves 20.2 percent efficiency.
This measurement was confirmed independently by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany at the request of SCHOTT Solar. SCHOTT Solar AG has thus announced yet another major success in developing industry-oriented manufacturing processes for high-efficiency solar cells.
SCHOTT Solar laid the foundation for this outstanding achievement by developing new multicrystalline cell concepts that earned the company the world record for module efficiency of 17.6 percent in 2010. “We then decided to intensify our efforts to develop monocrystalline cells at the beginning of 2011. We were thus able to apply the know-how we had gained in more than three years of development work on multicrystalline solar cells to monocrystalline wafers in a consistent manner,” explains Dr. Axel Metz, Director of Solar Cell Development at SCHOTT Solar in emphasizing the special significance of this achievement.
Early attempts to transfer these industry-oriented processes to Czochralski silicon wafers already allowed the researchers to achieve cell efficiencies of well over 19 percent rather quickly. The team at SCHOTT Solar then concentrated on improving the front side of the cell in order to be able to break through the 20 percent mark.
Thanks to a very fruitful collaboration with the Schmid Group from Freudenstadt, Germany, they were able to combine the Schmid selective emitter technology that is already well-established in manufacturing with the passivated rear side contact (PERC) technology of SCHOTT Solar. Some of this research work has been supported by government funding. The result is now the world's first 156 mm x 156 mm screen-printed solar cell with 20.2 percent efficiency.
“The cell performance of 4.92 W that we were able to achieve has encouraged the entire team to begin working on optimizing the actual manufacturing process and to apply these results to the development of highly efficient modules,” says Klaus Wangemann, Head of Development at SCHOTT Solar AG. SCHOTT Solar will be releasing further details on how the new cell technology will be used in an actual product very shortly. This information will also be shared at the 26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC). The EU PVSEC will be held in Hamburg from September 5 – 9 and SCHOTT Solar will be exhibiting at booth A37 in hall B5.
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