JA Solar has reported a record cell efficiency of 18.3% for a standard (156×156 mm2) multicrystalline solar cell.
Its claims have been verified by the Yangzhou Opto-Electrical Products Testing Institute in China.
The company noted that the improvements were the result of its R&D efforts to increase crystalline silicon quality, while reducing dislocation density in multicrystalline casting and wafering processes.
Yong Liu, CTO of JA Solar said: “The superior conversion efficiency we've achieved with our multi-Si cells and the rest of our product offering creates significant value for customers as it increases power generated per square foot and lowers installation cost per watt.”
JA Solar said that it plans to move the process from R&D into mainstream volume production but did not disclose timeframes.
In respect to other tier 1 PV manufacturers, JA Solar was only ranked 11th in terms of R&D spending (US$13.9 million) in 2012.