Aiko Solar has been celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019 and has become the largest merchant solar cell producer in the last few years, focusing on high-efficiency cells, notably mono-PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell] production, and is the first-tier producer of this cell type in 2018.
The US-headquartered high-efficiency solar panel maker is to spin off most of its manufacturing operations into a separate public listed entity, Maxeon Solar, which will include monocrystalline silicon wafer producer, Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS) as an investor.
How PV module supply has now become a marketing and trade-show related game of numbers; what is driving this, and why is it perhaps causing more concern to the very grouping it is meant to impress – the end-user.
The PV industry roadmap - and related metrics of technology and bankability - are now being driven by leading module supplier, JinkoSolar, with others seeking to replicate Jinko’s product line options, trying to differentiate in markets that are receptive to low-cost alternatives, or focusing only on rooftop markets where volumes are lower and sales/distribution efforts are more intensive.
Major PV materials supplier Heraeus Photovoltaics had launched six, next-generation, high-performance metallization pastes at this year’s SNEC PV Power Expo, which characterises the rapid pace of the upstream PV industry’s renewed focus on technical advancements and cost reductions.
Leading monocrystalline wafer producer and ‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member LONGi Green Energy Technology is planning to invest around US$875.7 million in expanding its Czochralski-based monocrystalline silicon (mono-Si) ingot and wafer capacity by 15GW, while expanding mono-Si solar cell capacity by an initial 3GW in 2020.
PV Tech can reveal that our head of research, Dr. Finlay Colville, will deliver a one-hour presentation seminar during the forthcoming PV IndiaTech 2019 conference taking place in Delhi on 24-25 April 2019.
PV is increasingly becoming the cheapest energy source and therefore has become the energy source with the highest yearly capacity additions! Even in 2018, after some scepticism right after SNEC 2018, due to the announcement of the Chinese Government to stop supporting PV as intensively as in 2017, more than 100GW (109GW) have been installed worldwide (we actually bet a crate of beer on that!) and 125GW has been forecasted to be installed in 2019.
Leading ‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member JinkoSolar has highlighted success using new LeTID (Light elevated Temperature Induced Degradation) testing standards in minimising performance losses in its P-type mono-PERC and N-type monocrystalline solar cells.
Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) member LONGi Solar, a subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy Technology, has reported that TUV-SUD has verified its 60-cell P-type monocrystalline PERC module to have a conversion efficiency of 20.83% - yet another new industry record.
European research and innovation hub centre imec has detailed a path for its nPERT (n-type Passivated Emitter and Rear Totally diffused) solar cell technology to reach conversion efficiencies in excess of 24% for volume production applications.
China-based merchant solar cell producer Guangdong Aiko Solar Energy Technology Co (Aiko Solar) said that it had entered volume production of its P-type monocrystalline PERC (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) solar cells with conversion efficiencies of 22%.
Meyer Burger’s patented SmartWire Connection Technology (SWCT) uses a patented foil-wire electrode with up to 24 round wires to electrically interconnect solar cells and is said to set a benchmark in terms of module performance and low manufacturing costs within the ‘Ibex’ SWCT stringer system.
China-based integrated polysilicon and merchant cell manufacturer Tongwei Group expects to begin pilot production of heterojunction (HJ) solar cells by the end of 2018, while the success of its 200MW Industry 4.0 fully-automated solar cell production line will lead to a longer-term migration of all cell production to intelligent manufacturing.