Global Module Suppliers Trina and Canadian Solar Announce World Record Efficiencies

Trina Solar announces efficiency of 24.58% for n-Type Monocrystalline Bifacial Solar Cell, and Canadian Solar announces 22.28% conversion efficiency for p-Type multicrystalline P5 Cell


Global PV company Trina Solar has announced that its state key laboratory of PV science and technology in China has set a new world record of achieving high efficiency of  24.58%  for n-type monocrystalline silicon (c-Si,  i-TOPCon solar cell (Industrial Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact).

The bifacial solar cell reached a total-area front side efficiency of 24.58%, without using any dedicated aperture during the illumination, a result independently confirmed by the ISFH Cal Tec in Germany, the company has said in a statement.

The bifacial solar cell was fabricated on a large-sized 244.62 cm2 wafer with a low-cost industrial process of advanced i-TOPCon technologies.

Jifan Gao, CEO of Trina Solar said, “We are very delighted to announce the latest achievement from our research team at the SKL PVST, to the best of our knowledge, this is the new world record for a total area efficiency for a large-area two-side contact silicon solar cell. The excellent research and development results lay a solid foundation for Trina to provide new differentiated high-end PV modules and solutions to our customers.”

Last year, Alta Devices, a manufacturer of thin and flexible mobile power technology, had set a record for a single junction solar cell with an efficiency of 28.9%. Before that, Oxford PV, a perovskite solar technology company, announced that it achieved a 27.3% conversion efficiency for its 1 cm2 perovskite-silicon tandem solar cell. Before this, the best efficiency recorded for a single-junction silicon solar cell in the world was 26.7%.

Meanwhile, global module supplier and solar project developer, Canadian Solar also announced that it has set a world record of 22.28% conversion efficiency for its p-type multicrystalline P5 cell, tested and certified by Fraunhofer ISE of Germany in April 2019.

Canadian Solar has been developing its P5 (casted mono) technology and products for the past few years, and the  cell was fabricated by utilizing 157 mm x 157 mm P5 multi-crystalline wafers and other production-ready technologies such as selective emitter, silicon oxide passivation, multi-layer anti-reflection coating, aluminum oxide backside passivation, and advanced metallization, the company release informed. It also added that the MCCE (Metal Catalyzed Chemical Etch) black silicon technology, originally developed by Canadian Solar, was also employed in this.

“We are pleased to see Canadian Solar P5 technology set a new world record. This shows that our multi-crystalline technology can achieve higher efficiencies while still enjoy the cost advantage. We will continue to expand our technology pipeline and provide our customers with the most LCOE-competitive products,” Dr. Shawn Qu, chairman, and CEO of Canadian Solar said.

According to a report by Mercom, the consensus in the solar industry is that it is gradually shifting towards monocrystalline cell technology from the more common multicrystalline cells and modules. The introduction of passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) cell technology has markedly increased the efficiency of monocrystalline cells, making them an economically attractive option for many projects. However, the use of multicrystalline modules still dominates the market in India, though developers have begun to seriously consider mono PERC modules as they come with several important advantages.

Soumik is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, Soumik was a correspondent for UNI, New Delhi covering the Northeast region for seven years. He has also worked as an Asia Correspondent for Washington DC-based Hundred Reporters. He has contributed as a freelancer to several national and international digital publications with a focus on data-based investigative stories on environmental corruption, hydro power projects, energy transition and the circular economy. Soumik is an Economics graduate from Scottish Church College, Calcutta University.