Q CELLS says it is investing an additional €15.5 million into its global R&D headquarters in Thalheim, Germany, as part of the company’s ongoing R&D roadmap to drive next-generation solar module technology development.
The €15.5 million comes on top of last year’s pledge to invest €20 million into machinery and equipment for next-generation PV technology development. Together, with around €35 million of yearly R&D expenditure, these will boost total investments into the headquarters for technology innovation and quality to over €140 million by 2023, notes the company.
This latest tranche of investment has been funneled into procuring specialist equipment that will support R&D efforts in n-type cell and module development. Q CELLS’ team of scientists has identified this technology as the most effective next-gen driver of levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) reduction.
“The core values of Q CELLS have always been technological excellence and leadership, and I am excited to reveal that the company is poised to once again introduce an era-defining PV technology to the market this year with a new high-efficiency module product made with our brand new n-type Q.ANTUM NEO technology,” says Dr. Daniel Jeong, CTO of Q CELLS. “Our precise investment roadmap has been carefully considered to ensure that Q CELLS can continue to shape the next generation of solar energy technology for many years to come.”
Development of the n-type technology – which will be called Q.ANTUM NEO – is already underway. Q.ANTUM NEO is the next step in Q CELLS’ Q.ANTUM Technology roadmap, utilizing n-type cells with passivating contacts to further increase the efficiency and power of the modules. Q CELLS expects to introduce Q.TRON, a new solar module manufactured using this cell technology this year, boosting efficiencies well above the levels of current p-type modules on the market. In parallel, Q CELLS is also working on tandem solar cell R&D based on perovskite technology in its technology and R&D headquarters in Germany.