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Silicon solar cell breaks record with 19% efficiency

Posted: 29 Apr 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:conversion? solar cells? silicon? efficiency?

Sunrise Global Solar Energy has set a new world efficiency record for mass produced conventional solar cells. A peak efficiency rate of up to 19.2 percent has been reached for the first time in standard volume production by combining Sunrise�s unique processing know-how and the selective emitter technology from Schmid GmbH, one of its technology partners.

The measurements were verified by the University of Konstanz and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

Alongside the selective emitter technology from Schmid and advanced processing steps optimized by Sunrise, the cell efficiency record was otherwise achieved in a standard single-sided screen-printed solar cell structurethereby setting a new global standard for conventional solar cells. The production runs of record solar cells which achieve a peak rate of 19.2 percent are based on industrial grade 6" mono-crystalline wafer material (Czochralski drawing) with conventional screen printed aluminum backside.

solar cells

Digital printing of etch masks on solar cells.

The increased rate of efficiency reached by Sunrise was made possible by the use of the selective emitter technology developed internally by the Schmid Group and combined with the highly optimized fabrication steps by the Sunrise team, which has a track record of pushing the boundaries of solar cell efficiencies.

"In Schmid's combined printing and etching process, the high phosphorous doping layer on the cell is selectively etched and only remains in those places where contacts are subsequently printedfor this purpose a wax mask is applied by an inkjet-type printer. The utilization concept of the selective emitter increases the efficiency of the solar cell by up to 0.6 percent absolute," said Dr. Christian Buchner, vice president of Schmid's cell business unit.

"The digital inkjet printing technology and the optical characterization techniques utilized create an outstanding level of precision and process stability. Moreover, with the extremely low investment requirement and with a view to minimizing the running costs involved, this technology is well positioned to withstand the continually rising cost pressure in solar cell productionthe technology capabilities of the Schmid Group have once again been proven," added Buchner.

"We are thrilled that out of our many technological development programs that the Schmid selective emitter process has developed so quickly into mass production," remarked Hsu Kuei-Chang, Sunrise CEO. He added that, "Module makers are consistently seeking differentiating characteristics, as a result of our continued leadership in high efficiency cells, our customer partners are ecstatic that we can supply them world beating efficiencies on a mass produced and cost competitive level."

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