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Current status and future potential of back-contact (BC) module technology

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By Harry Wirth; Ulrich Eitner

This paper describes the technical concepts and current status of back-contact module technology. A back-contact module has the advantage of a higher conversion efficiency because of less shading of the front of the cell, fewer inactive areas in the module and lower series resistance in the interconnection. Aesthetically, back-contact modules are more attractive than standard modules. Furthermore, module manufacturing is gentler due to there being less cell handling during the process. The two main technical concepts related to back-contact modules – interconnector technology and printed circuit backsheet technology – are discussed in this paper. An overview is given of the production status of current back-contact module manufacturers to also show the significant potential of this technology in economic terms.

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Published in November 2011, the 14th edition of Photovoltaics International provides a variety of technical papers from some of the industry’s stalwarts. Features include: TÜV Rheinland on junction box testing; Laser Zentrum Hannover on laser edge isolation of mc-Si cells; Calisolar on the importance of traceability; Fraunhofer ISE on EWT cells; and EPIA on Europe’s LCOE.

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