KANEKA Corp. and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) again demonstrate Japan’s advance in solar technology by launching a crystalline silicon PV module with a record-breaking conversion efficiency of 24.37%. The new achievement, which follows closely to their achievement of increasing solar cell’s efficiency to 26.33% announced in late September, has taken over the crown for module efficiency from SunPower.
KANEKA and NEDO have been collaboratively developing a project called “Development of High-Performance and Reliable PV Modules to Reduce LCOE,” aiming to reduce costs of solar power to 14yen/kWh in 2020 and 7yen/kWh in 2030. Under this project, KANEKA and NEDO jointly broke the world’s high efficiency cell record with a 26.33% efficiency crystalline silicon cell this September. The cell, which has a size of 180cm^2, combines heterojunction and back-contact technology (HBC technology) so that the conversion efficiency can be effectively improved on a commercial-sized cell.
KANEKA and NEDO further packaged 108 pieces of the HBC high efficiency cells into a PV module with an area of 13,177cm^2 and successfully created the new, ultra-high efficiency HBC solar module. With unique technologies such as specific wiring and effective light-absorbing mechanism, KANEKA and NEDO’s HBC PV module has a conversion efficiency of up to 24.37%, breaking SunPower’s 24.1% efficiency record set in June 2016.
Meanwhile, NEDO officially unveiled its “NEDO PV Challenges” strategy for technology development in solar energy, which will be executed through methods include improving conversion efficiency of solar cells, reducing production costs, and increasing reliability, etc. Based on target of reducing solar cost to 14yen per kWh by 2020, NEDO plans to introduce commercialized PV modules with average conversion efficiency of 22%.
(Photo of module: KANEKA)