JA Solar's R&D team has developed and revealed its new high-power multicrystalline solar cell that is claimed to sport a conversion efficiency of 18.2%. Using its new “Maple” technology, the company states that its Maple cells feature silicon crystals that are broader, flatter and have less grain boundaries than traditional multicrystalline silicon. This new technology is said to allow for less energy waste and better conversion efficiency.
JA Solar notes that its new cells are closer to monocrystalline solar cells when compared in terms of conversion efficiency, but the company asserts that its new Maple cells can be made with lower-cost multicrystalline silicon production techniques.
During the pilot production, in large-volume manufacturing conditions, the Maple cells are said to have yielded 18.2% conversion efficiencies leading JA Solar to aim for commercial production to begin during the second half of this year.
“We are proud to announce this breakthrough in multicrystalline-silicon solar cell technology, an achievement that clearly demonstrates JA Solar's industry-leading R&D capabilities,” said Dr. Peng Fang, CEO of JA Solar. “By bridging the gap between the higher efficiency of monocrystalline technology and the lower cost of multicrystalline cells, Maple technology can drive a new generation of high-power solar modules at attractive price points. We are committed to building on this achievement to further improve efficiency and to continuing to develop industry-leading solar cell technology and innovative solar power products in support of our goal of achieving grid parity.”