Trina Solar successfully increased its multi-si p-type PV cell’s conversion efficiency up to 21.25%, higher than its previous record 20.76% reached in late 2014. The record-breaking 156×156 mm2 solar cell has been independently confirmed by the Fraunhofer ISE CalLab in Germany.
The record-breaking p-type multi-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a high-quality mc-Si substrate with a process that integrates advanced Honey Plus technologies including back surface passivation and local back surface field. To set this new record, only low-cost industrial processes which can be easily integrated into large-volume production were used.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time ever that a multi-crystalline silicon solar cell has been able to achieve a conversion efficiency of over 21%," said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar. "This exciting result shows that the development path toward higher efficiencies continues to be bright, even for silicon. Our aim is to continuously integrate innovative technological developments to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of our PV products. This technology advancement in efficiency will strengthen our leadership in the PV industry and allow us to continue providing affordable solar power to the world."
C/P Ratio Counts
The 21.25% efficiency record doesn’t indicate the realized efficiency and power output after the PV cells are massively produced and packaged to PV modules. EnergyTrend’s analysts estimate an approximately 19% conversion efficiency when the technology are into volume production. Meanwhile, power output of the module utilizing the new technology could be around 265-275W (60-cells) in real world, close to modules packaged by standard mono-si PV cells.
According to EenrgyTrend’s market research, the average efficiency of multi-si PERC cells in real world are between 18.8% and 19.2%, while efficiency of standard mono-si cells are 19.4% to 19.6%.
Trina Solar’s new technology could be competitive in Chinese market as China’s Pilot Program helps drive domestic demand to high efficiency PV modules. However, the sale and demand rely on this multi-si PERC modules’ C/P ratio in comparison with PV modules made by mono-si PV cells. Trina Solar’s cost and efficiency management to the new-recorded Honey Plus cell is crucial for the products’ market performance, said an analyst at EnergyTrend.