Trina Solar’s State Ley Laboratory (SKL) of PV Science and Technology (PVST) has successfully improve a large-area (156 x 156 mm2) IBC solar cell’s efficiency to 24.13%, setting a new record. This is another breakthrough in Trina Solar’s next generation, high-efficiency technologies which will be supportive to the company’s target of developing distributed generation (DG) PV business.
The record-breaking n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized phosphorous-doped Cz Silicon substrate with a low-cost industrial IBC process, featuring conventional tube doping technologies and fully screen-printed metallization. The 156×156 mm2 solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 24.13% as independently measured by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET), while its open-circuit voltage Voc is 702.7mV.
In April 2016, Trina Solar has achieved 23.5% efficiency record on the IBC platform, which was an industrial low-cost one thanks to a production equipment adjusted from PERC’s. The efficiency record has been further improved above 24% in 2017, marking Trina Solar’s achievement in high efficiency technologies.
“IBC solar cells are one of the most efficient silicon solar cells available today and are particularly suitable for applications for which the requirement of a high power density is more important than LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity),” said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar. “Our IBC cell program has always focused on the development of large-area cells and low-cost industrial processes. We are very happy to announce today that our industrial large area IBC cell has reached almost the same level of performance as the small-area laboratory cell made three years ago with a photolithography process.”
IBC solar cells can be applied in nitch markets such as solar-powered cars and airplanes. This technology could also be selected for residential solar projects in the future.
Focusing on “One belt, one road” and residential segment
Trina Solar established its Southeast Asian manufacturing fab earlier than most of industrial competitors. Currently, its Thai fab has 900MW of cell capacity and 650MW module capacity.
Trina Solar plans to increase Thai fab’s production capacity to cooperate with China’s “One belt, one road” strategy.
On the other hand, Trina Solar is optimistic about future of residential PV segment. In an interview executed between China’s media OFweek and a representative of Trina Solar’s residential PV business, the solar company expected that up to 5GW of installations in China will be from the residential segment. In addition to Chinese government’s support to DG systems, Trina Solar forecasts that the market will soon transfer from centralized, ground-mounted solar power plants to distributed and residential projects.
Trina Solar has already introduced residential PV packages that integrate solar equipment and optimize power generation. These packages involve after-sale services and monitoring function as well. Trina Solar’s high efficiency products will be part of its development strategy for DG / residential business.