Q-Cells has been nominated for the Intersolar Award 2011 for its ‘Q.ANTUM’ cell concept that earlier this year achieved a record efficiency rating of 18.45%. However, in the days leading up to the largest PV event in this year's calendar, Q-Cells has reported its ‘Q.ANTUM’ cell has been verified by the Fraunhofer ISE institute as reaching cell efficiencies of 19.5%.
Q-Cells said that it had consistently optimised the individual steps of cell production and managed to improve the top efficiency rating from by more than 1%. This was achieved at its in-house research centre in Thalheim, Germany.
The company said that it used a 180-µm-thick polycrystalline wafer that was metallised and passivated with functional nanolayers on the back side. This new type of structure, consisting of dielectric layers combined with local contacts, improves the solar cell's optical and electrical characteristics, according to Q-Cells.
“The new world record is proofing Q-Cells' leading position in the crystalline solar cells market, said Peter Waver, senior vice president of technology at Q-Cells. “We have already managed to significantly improve the cell efficiency rating thanks to our new cell concept Q.ANTUM, and we will further optimise this technology to achieve efficiencies of more than 20%.”