Schott Solar has declared the development of a new manufacturing technique for multicrystalline solar cells, which augments Schott’s Solar Champion multicrystalline module efficiency to 17.6%. The company maintains that the new cell uses a standard front side and passivated backside with different dielectric layers utilizing local contacts along with traditional screen-printing technology to create contacts.
“The photovoltaics industry is pursuing two approaches to reduce costs – improve the production process and increase cell efficiency,” said Gerry Fine, chief executive officer of Schott North America. “Schott has a track record of consistently leading the industry in the area of production processes. Now, thanks to this innovative approach to manufacturing of high-performance cells and modules, we also rank among the leaders when it comes to achieving higher efficiency.”
Although Schott has not yet released additional details, they did reveal the cell construction started with high efficiency multicrystalline cells, which then had the optical and electrical losses that are associated with the assembly of solar cells into modules reduced. Schott claims that by taking the most favorable manufacturing process at the cell and module levels, the company was able to create a multicrystalline module surface efficiency of 17.6%. Schott has stated that the module efficiency was confirmed by the European Solar Test Installation.