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PV CellTech: Multi c-Si technology here to stay – Trina Solar

Producing one multicrystalline silicon solar module per second does not suggest that the technology is about to disappear, based on the headline presentation at the first day of the inaugural PV CellTech conference in Malaysia.

Producing one multicrystalline silicon solar module per second does not suggest that the technology is about to disappear, based on the headline presentation at the first day of the inaugural PV CellTech conference in Malaysia. 

The ‘one every second’ reference was not a global market assessment made by an independent research firm, rather the matter of fact comments made by the CTO, Pierre Verlinden of the leading PV module manufacturer, Trina Solar, in reference to what the company has achieved on a daily basis in later part of 2015. 

The presentation by Verlinden underscored that multi c-Si technology has continued to lead volume production in recent years, while providing the lowest cost per-watt metrics, yet still able to achieve solar cell conversion efficiencies of 20% plus. 

Understandably, Verlinden made reference to a record maximum cell efficiency (21.25%) for a multi c-Si solar cell the company achieved in November, 2015 that added to a string of records the company made in 2015 and 2014. 

But rather than tout a future without the workhorse cell, Trina’s CTO highlighted the technology still had a bright future despite some key challenges. 

The development and implementation of multi c-Si wafers with significantly reduced dislocations in the substrate would improve conversion efficiency to 21.44%. 

Reducing iron (Fe) contamination and deactivation of boron-oxygen (B-O) defects in the wafer (B-O complex), that impact the cell performance, known as light-induced degradation (LID), would boost conversion efficiencies to 21.83%. 

Improving the local back surface field (LBSF) of the cell would take efficiencies to 22.33% and passivated contacts could achieve cell efficiencies of more that 22.5%.

Coupled to a major reduction in wafer impurities, often generated in the manufacturing tools and processes as much as in the production of the wafer, the solar industry could achieve 0.5% cell efficiency gains for a few more years before saturation occurs.

“How high can we go?” remarked Verlinden. 

Tags: c-si manufacturing, solar cell, pv celltech, trina solar

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