17 January 2012
Q-Cells SE has set two new records for multi-crystalline solar modules: an efficiency record of 18.5% for a multi-crystalline module; and a record-setting module output of 283 watts (W) based on 60 quasi-monocrystalline solar cells.
The independent calibration laboratory of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany confirmed the module efficiency of 18.5% in reference to the aperture area for a module with 60 multicrystalline solar cells. With this efficiency record, Q-Cells has broken its own record of 18.1% set in the summer of 2011.
In addition, the independent calibration laboratory of the Fraunhofer ISE confirmed a peak output of 283W for a quasi-monocrystalline module. Therefore, Q-Cells currently has the most powerful module among competitively priced quasi-monocrystalline modules. Q-Cells also has held the current record in the field of mono-silicon modules since September 2011, with a performance class reaching 287W.
Both records are based on Q-Cells' Q.Antum cell concept. The market introduction of the Q.Antum solar cells and modules is planned for 2012. Pilot production of the new cell is now underway in Thalheim, Germany. In April 2011, the Q.Antum solar cell set the record for large-scale multicrystalline solar cells with an efficiency of 19.5%. Multicrystalline or quasi-monocrystalline silicon wafers with a thickness of 180 micrometres (µm), mirrored and passivated with functional nano-layers on the rear side, are the base materials for the solar cells that were used.
The structure of the rear side, made of dielectric layers in combination with local contacts, improves the optical and electrical characteristics of the solar cell and results in a performance increase compared to the standard back surface field (BSF) technology that is currently in widespread use. This reverse structure is compatible with various grades of silicon and very thin wafers. With the latest high-efficiency technologies developed for Q.Antum and their optimisation for cost-effective wafer materials, Q-Cells is establishing the prerequisites for the efficient production of crystalline modules in the high-performance segment.