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Solar Production Technology
More Light for Solar Cells
Photo Gallery to the topic More Light for Solar Cells
Concentration on the cell:show photos
Key process:show photos
By introducing phosphorous into a diffusion oven, the cell becomes electrically conductive. (Source: Q-Cells)
Not every produced solar cell is the same as the others. For this reason, they are sorted by efficiency. (Source: Bosch)
The “HIT” modules by Sanyo have been popular for many years due to their performance. (Source: Sanyo)
In the meantime, the market has turned. Many suppliers have been left holding their modules as important countries such as Germany and Spain have reduced their solar tariffs, thus putting the brakes on the solar boom. For the first time in the history of photovoltaics, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has forecast a decline in the global market for 2011 and 2012.
As a result, the manufacturers are faced with a major challenge: They must rapidly improve the price-performance relationship of their products in order to be able to hold their own against the competition. This is forcing them to create far-reaching innovations.
The latest developments include cells, on which the electrical connections are fitted on the reverse so that the front side is not shaded by contacts and busbars. As a result, more sunlight can penetrate and the electricity yield is increased.
The protagonist of these “rear contact cells” is the US manufacturer, Sunpower. Their cells convert light into electricity with an efficiency of 22 percent, based on the module– which is currently being introduced on the market with the name of “Maxeon”– with no less than 20 percent. This is one percentage point more than Sunpower’s previously established modules of rear contact cells and a quarter more than the commercially available silicon modules, which currently achieve an average of 15 percent efficiency.