REC’s ‘Peak Energy Plus’ Series module is first to use backside passivation technology

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Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has made commercially available its REC Peak Energy Plus Series module, based on cells with backside passivation technology. The module has a nominal power output in watt classes ranging from 245Wp to 255Wp with higher watt classes expected in the future. The backside cell passivation technology improves performance by enhancing the solar cell’s response to red light.

Problem

Diminishing feed-in tariff rates are shifting the need towards higher yielding modules to provide adequate returns on investment (ROI). Maximizing yield through low-light conditions, typically in early morning and early evening cycles is important. However, control of temperature coefficients at peak producing times will also produce higher yielding modules.

Solution

The introduction of backside passivation increases cell efficiency in two ways. First, the backside passivation layer reflects light that has travelled through the cell without generating electrons and reached the backside. The reflected light will pass through the cell a second time which generates additional current. Secondly, the layer passivates the crystal defects associated with the back surface of the silicon wafer better than a conventional cell. This means that electrons that are generated near the backside of the cell are less likely to be captured and lost. They will also have a higher probability of reaching the interface between the base and emitter contributing to the current of the cell. The improved backside will also improve the cell voltage. In addition to the added watt gain in midday conditions, the new module is claimed to perform well in low light conditions and at high temperatures, producing additional energy during early and late hours of the day, in hazy conditions and in warmer climates.

Applications

Residential and commercial rooftops.

Platform

The new REC Peak Energy Plus Series delivers an additional 5 watts compared to the earlier generation product. The module has a nominal power output in watt classes ranging from 245 Wp to 255 Wp with higher watt classes possible in the future. Modules with backside passivation cells are certified by TÜV to IEC 61215 and IEC 61730 standards, passing damp heat, mechanical load, thermal cycling and humidity freeze tests. In addition to this, the modules passed extensive internal REC testing standards, which exceed the standard IEC requirements. The modules come with a 10 year product warranty and a 25 year linear power output warranty (max. degression in performance of 0.7% p.a.). Certified REC Solar Professionals and Partners will receive exclusive training on the new module and marketing support.

Availability

June 2012 onwards. 

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