Canadian Solar Inc. has opened its new 1500M2 PV Cell Research Center, which is located in the company’s solar cell Fab II in Suzhou. It consolidates the company’s R&D facilities to a single location and is meant to improve the efficiency and production yield of regular polysilicon cells and proprietary solar grade e-cells.
The center cost CSI US$10 million, and the majority has already been paid in 2008. It is the only provincially accredited PV cell research center in Jiangsu province.
CSI has been researching high efficiency solar cell structures, such as selective emitter, N-type and back-contact cells. Its research partnership contracts with DuPont, University of Toronto, and Shanghai Jiao Tong Unversity, will focus on improving their solar grade cells.
“CSI is now executing a four-year cell efficiency research program that will lead to better products and lower costs,” stated Chairman and CEO Dr. Shawn Qu. “Both the solar-grade cells for our e-Modules and regular silicon cells can benefit from this research. The program objective is to significantly improve our cell conversion efficiency. Our goal is to bring our average cell efficiency for polysilicon monocrystalline cells to 18.5% and solar grade cells to 15.5% within 12 months.”