Significant momentum is building in the adoption of ‘quasi-mono’ wafers, according to recent developments at GCL-Poly and partner companies. An early adopter is Canadian Solar, having secured a supply agreement with GCL-Poly with other PV manufacturers that totals more than 30 million pieces per month. The latest adopter is Tainergy, which has also signed a 5-year letter of intent to purchase 1GW of GCL’s quasi-mono wafers.
According to GCL, production of quasi-mono wafers has reached 20 million pieces per month and expects that the production capacity will exceed 100 million pieces per month by the end of this year.
The company has developed and put into production a new DSS-based ingot furnace system, dubbed the ‘GCL-ASCS-880,’ producing the ‘GCL Quasi-Mono Wafer,’ which is claimed to provide conversion efficiencies close to those of conventional monocrystalline wafers.
So far, GCL claims that the highest detected conversion efficiency of its quasi-mono product is 18.5%. However, GCL noted that the degradation rate is lower than that of traditional monocrystalline wafers, by an average of 1%.
GCL said that the development of the furnace and quasi-mono wafer product had been the company’s first strategic move by its technical team in technology innovation and was the start of more to come.
This quasi-mono wafers have already been utilised by Canadian Solar, in a co-branded high efficiency 265W solar module with GCL.
High-efficiency solar cells require higher-purity wafers to provide overall cell efficiency gains, compared to lower-cost multicrystalline wafers. However, conventional monocrystalline wafers are significantly more expensive to produce. A quasi-mono wafer, using modified multicrystalline DSS-based furnaces, is intended to bridge the gap between efficiency/purity and low-cost needs in high-volume production.