JA Solar Holdings revealed that its Maple solar cells had reached an 18.5% conversion efficiency level in large volume production, with the average conversion efficiency for the Maple cells in mass production being recorded at 18%. The new record for JA Solar is noted as being higher than the industry’s standard average conversion efficiency for multicrystalline solar cells of nearly 16.8%.

JA Solar’s Maple solar cells are said to include silicon crystals that are broader, flatter and have fewer grain boundaries than standard multicrystalline silicon. The company advised that by using an original process technology, it has been able to reach the conversion efficiency rates with its Maple cells that are more typically seen in monocrystalline solar cells, while still holding the cost advantage of multicrystalline technology.

"We are very excited to reach this major milestone in the development of our high-efficiency Maple solar cell technology," said Dr. Peng Fang, CEO of JA Solar. "This success underlines JA Solar's position as an industry leader in solar cell technology innovation. Maple technology addresses the market's desire for cost effective higher power products at lower installation cost. It offers unrivaled value for customers looking to maximize power output with a cost-effective solution, and is ideally suited to space constrained application such as commercial rooftops. Customers have responded positively to Maple technology and JA Solar's new range of high-power modules. By continuing to offer best-in-class technology, superior product performance, and world-class customer service, we are confident that JA Solar offers the best value to our network of partners and customers.”

JA Solar advised that it plans on increasing the power output of its Maple modules to a range between 255W and 260W, from its currently available 245W to 250W, in the first half of 2012. The increased output modules will eventually be made available to customers in large volume commercial quantities.