A workshop held last week by ECN and Fraunhofer-ISE in Nemo, Amsterdam has decreed that Metal Wrap Through (MWT) solar cell technology is ready for volume production among a number of PV manufacturers.

MWT cells and modules are believed to offer cost reductions greater than those possible with conventional ‘H’ pattern cell designs, due to higher efficiencies, reduced transfer losses and simpler cell assembly and encapsulation.

Importantly, MWT technology can offer further efficiency gains and cost reductions when integrated further with selective emitters, PERC type contacts, n-type silicon material and kerfless wafers.

PV manufacturers such as Canadian Solar, Yingli and Tianwei gave presentations on their latest developments with MWT technology during the two-day workshop, as well as leading R&D institutes such as ECN, Fraunhofer-ISE, ISFH and ISC Konstanz.

Canadian Solar revealed results from a selective emitter and PERC design that enables cells with 19.6 to 20.6% efficiencies, which it is already manufacturing in a production environment.

Another Chinese producer, Tianwei was said to have 150MW of capacity available for cells and modules for MWT. In production, the company demonstrated cells with higher power output, less breakage and an easy migration path from lab to fab.

The companies presenting were all using various MWT technology paths that ECN had collaborated with them in R&D programmes.