Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. says it is routinely utilizing the Pluto technology to produce PV cells with conversion efficiencies of approximately 19% on monocrystalline PV cells and 17% on multicrystalline PV cells.
The company recently sent a number of Pluto PV cells to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany for third-party verification. The Fraunhofer Institute test results included a monocrystalline Pluto PV cell with a conversion efficiency of 18.8% and a multicrystalline Pluto PV cell with a conversion efficiency of 17.2%. Both PV cells were produced on Suntech's 34 MW Pluto production line, utilizing solar-grade silicon wafers.
‘The ability of the Pluto technology to significantly improve the conversion efficiency of both mono and multi-crystalline silicon PV cells is one of its unique characteristics,’ notes Dr. Stuart Wenham, chief technology officer at Suntech. ‘This will give Suntech the flexibility to offer a complete range of high-efficiency solar products. In particular, we believe that Suntech's multicrystalline Pluto modules will be one of the most efficient multicrystalline silicon PV modules in commercial scale production worldwide.’
The patent-pending Pluto technology is based on the PERL technology, developed by the University of NSW in Australia, which has achieved a world-record efficiency of 25% in the laboratory. According to Suntech, Pluto should improve power output by approximately 12% above conventional screen-printed PV cells. Unique texturing technology, with lower reflectivity, ensures more sunlight can be absorbed throughout the day, even without direct solar radiation, and thinner metal lines on the top surface reduce shading loss.
SOURCE: Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.