China-based Trina Solar Ltd. says that its lab has beaten the company’s own world record for a large-area interdigitated back contact (IBC) silicon solar cell.
According to the company, it reached a new efficiency record of 23.5% for its silicon solar cell with an IBC structure on a 156×156 mm2 n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafer. The cell was fabricated entirely with a screen-printed process. Trina Solar says this beats its previous record of 22.94% for the same type of solar cell, which was set in May 2014, and the new results have been independently confirmed by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories.
Dr. Pierre Verlinden, who leads Trina Solar’s development of high-performance solar cells at its State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of China, says, “We are very pleased to announce the new efficiency result achieved by our scientists and researchers. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a mono-crystalline silicon IBC solar cell with an area of 238.6 cm2 exhibits a total-area conversion efficiency of 23.5 percent.
“Interdigitated back contact silicon solar cells are the most efficient silicon solar cells to date but require a complicated fabrication process,” continues Verlinden. “Trina Solar has been developing IBC solar cells since the establishment of its State Key Laboratory with the objective to reach record efficiencies with the lowest-possible cost. From the beginning, we developed a scalable technology for IBC solar cells around large-area 156mm x 156mm wafers as we believe that the wafer size is the key to manufacturing cost reduction of this efficient solar cell.”
Trina Solar adds that this new record has been achieved just two years after the company announced a 24.4% efficiency for a small-area (2cm x 2cm) laboratory IBC solar cell developed in collaboration with the Australian National University.