Bifacial technology touted ahead of EU PVSEC

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Several firms have touted the benefits of Bifacial solar cells and modules in advance of this week's EU PVSEC event in Amsterdam. 

Meyer Burger has claimed that a standard 60-cell module with its heterojunction (HJT) cell technology on 156×156 mm bifacial cells using ‘SmartWire’ connection technology (SWCT) has generated 327 watts. 

Meyer Burger said that its HJT cells are characterised by a temperature coefficient of only -0.22 %/°C at the module level, compared to typical conventional cells of -0.43 %/°C. The company claimed its HJT cells provided a 10% performance gain over standard cells. 

Always a critical aspect to cell technology is the overall cost impact over conventional cells. However, Meyer Burger noted that its HJT technology roadmap pointed to cell efficiencies of 24% and a cost of < 0.10 US$/Wp by the end of 2014.

Germany-based PV equipment supplier, SCHMID, has also touted the benefits of bifacial solar cells, highlighting its complete ‘GEMINUS’ technology for processing bifacial cells. 

The company claimed that its process enables up to 30% higher yield with a suitable alignment than conventional cells. SCHMID noted that its technology centre in Freudenstadt, Germany was used with a monocrystalline p-type wafer generating conversion efficiencies of 19.5% on the front side and 17.5% on the back side.

SCHMID noted that with an optimal alignment of the bifacial cell system, the achievable increase of energy yield is around 3.5%.

The process can be deployed on both p-type and n-type cells with a claimed BOS cost of US$0.07 to US$0.10 per Wp.

Dr. Christian Buchner, vice president of the PV business unit at the SCHMID Group said: “Our GEMINUS cell concept is characterised by a lean process. We only use proven production equipment and can perform key processes such as doping very inexpensively. Therefore we are now able, as the only provider, to ensure a viable implementation for bifacial solar cells.”

Bifacial solar cells are light-sensitive on both sides. The incidence of diffuse light on the backside of the module is optimised by a highly reflective background surface that should be in sufficient distance, according to SCHMID. 

Italian solar cell manufacturer, Megacell Srl also announced ahead of EU PVSEC that it had officially signed a licence agreement with ISC Konstanz to start producing ISC's bifacial ‘BiSoN’ solar cell technology at its 80MW facility.

Megacell has claimed that the BiSoN technology developed and “equivalent power” of 350W, 30% higher yield than compared to a standard 60-cell module (250-265W) installed with fixed tilt and 50% higher when the bifacial BiSoN module is mounted in a system with a tracker.

A next phase in BiSoN cell technology was said to be use of ion implantation to generated cell conversion efficiencies of up to 21.5%.

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