EU PVSEC

EU PVSEC News No 79

 
   
New Record Efficiencies for Back-Contact Cells; Keynote on IBC Technology at Upcoming EU PVSEC
EU PVSEC Parallel Events
Registration: Select from a variety of tailor-made ticketing options to match your needs
More Information
   

New Record Efficiencies for Back-Contact Cells; Keynote on IBC Technology at Upcoming EU PVSEC


One Keynote Presentation at our upcoming EU PVSEC in Munich will deal with Back Contact Cells. While this cell species has been an “old-timer” in the PV world, always belonging to the efficiency leaders among silicon solar cells, there is still some upward potential.


Just recently, the team of Pierre Verlinden, Chief Scientist at the world’s largest module producer Trina Solar, has announced a new world record efficiency of 23.5% for an Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) cell on a 156 x 156 mm n-type wafer. This is a 0.5% points improvement over its own record of 22.94%, which it had announced almost exactly 2 years ago, in May 2014.


The new 6-inch record cell comes very close to Trina’s top IBC Lab cell - here its world record stands at 24.37%, but on a much smaller 2 x 2 cm substrate. This means the company is reducing the distance for its IBC cells’ performance from lab to a production size device.


Trina also tackled a further critical point for back-contact cells – as it employed a low-cost industrial manufacturing process, using typical production methods, such as screen printing. IBC cells have always been having the highest efficiencies as its junction and metallization are moved to the cell’s back-side, which avoids losses from shading. But you need more sophisticated manufacturing equipment and more steps, which results in higher processing cost than for other silicon cells.


That is probably the reason, why SunPower is the only large-scale manufacturer of back-contact cells today. The subsidiary of Total Energie from France has successfully found ways to circumvent the rather high costs for its IBC cells - it has developed the appropriate balance-of-system technology and designed great packages for its rather high-cost products for its customers – either by offering financing services for rooftop PV installations or by developing large-scale solar power plants on its own.


But SunPower has also constantly improved the core itself - its best back-contact cell now reaches an amazing efficiency level of 25.2% (153 cm2), a new record that was confirmed by Fraunhofer ISE in October 2015. And only in February, it announced a new efficiency record for its modules, reaching an impressive 22.8%.


The difference between SunPower and Trina is that the first one produces 5-inch cells for its commercial modules, while the latter has used today’s standard 6-inch format for its record cell.


The keynote on “Innovative Approaches to Interconnect IBC Cells” will be given on Monday, June 20, 2016, 8:30 – 9:30 in the “New Materials and Concepts for Solar Cells and Modules” Session by J. Govaerts from imec in Belgium.


That is the country, where IBC record holder Pierre Verlinden started his work on IBC cells, before he moved to SunPower, and then to Trina Solar.


At the upcoming EU PVSEC, there will be several papers on IBC technology. To take a look at the program, please click here.


Among the IBC papers, there will be also a presentation by Trina on Thursday, June 23, 2016, 17.30-18.30 in the Session “Advanced c-Si Solar Cell Architectures” with the title “Pilot Production of 6-inch IBC Solar Cells Yielding an Average Efficiency of 23% with a Low-Cost Industrial Process.”

While back contact cell technology has been an “old-timer” in the PV world, always belonging to the efficiency leaders among silicon solar cells, there is still some upward potential. In recent months, Trina and SunPower both broke new efficiency records.

EU PVSEC Parallel Events


Jointly presented with major international organisations, the EU PVSEC 2016 Parallel Events offer a deep insight into specific topics along the most recent technology, market and business trends, and address to global decision makers from industry, research, finance and politics. These additional half-day-sessions are open to all registered Conference participants of the EU PVSEC 2016. Detailed programmes have now been published:


Monday, 20 June 2016, 13:30 - 18:30

Enhancing PV Competitiveness with Energy Storage

jointly with the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) - IEA PVPS Task 1


Tuesday, 21 June 2016, 08:30 - 12:30

Acceleration of BIPV by international collaboration

jointly with the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) - IEA PVPS Task 15, Solliance and the Becquerel Institute


Tuesday, 21 June 2016, 13:30 - 17:30

End-of-Life Management of Photovoltaic Modules - Current Global Status and Future Prospects

jointly with IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency and the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA PVPS) - IEA PVPS Task 12


Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 13:00 - 17:00

PV Production, Quality, and Innovation Forum

jointly with SOLARUNITED


Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 08:30 - 12:30

Solar PV: Changing our energy system

jointly with IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency


Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 13:30 - 18:30

PHOTOVOLTAICS | FORMS | LANDSCAPES Beauty and power of designed Photovoltaics

jointly with EC-JRC, ENEA and ETA-Florence Renewable Energies


Thursday, 23 June 2016, 08:30 - 18:30

7th International Workshop on CIGS Solar Cell Technology (IW-CIGSTech 7)

jointly organized by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH (HZB) and Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)


Registration: Select from a variety of tailor-made ticketing options to match your needs


You have access to all plenary, oral and visual sessions of the EU PVSEC Conference Programme, as well as to EU PVSEC Parallel Events, on day(s) registered. You further have access to the Intersolar Exhibition (22-24 June 2016) on all days. Coffee breaks (on day(s) registered, Welcome Reception, complete EU PVSEC material (e.g. bag, programme brochure), WLAN on-site, use of wardrobe on-site and free access to Conference Proceedings 2016 right after publication, is included. Coffee breaks (on day(s) registered, Welcome Reception, complete EU PVSEC material (e.g. bag, programme brochure), WLAN on-site, use of wardrobe on-site and free access to Conference Proceedings 2016 right after publication, is included.


Save your precious time and network with the global PV community in a relaxed atmosphere:


EU PVSEC Dinner

The EU PVSEC 2016 Conference Dinner takes place on Wednesday evening, 22 June 2016 in the Restaurant Hirschau which is located in the idyllic landscape of Munich’s green lung, the “English Garden”.

You can book your ticket(s) within your online registration process. Tickets are limited and may become subject to availability!


Networking Lunch

The EU PVSEC 2016 Networking Lunch takes place from Monday to Thursday, 20-23 June 2016 in a dedicated networking area in exclusive ambiance, directly in the ICM Munich.

You can book your ticket(s) within your online registration process. Tickets are limited and may become subject to availability!


 

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WIP, 4 May 2016

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