Sanyo hits 21.6 percent cell conversion efficiency

Having asked the company if these figures have been independently verified, pv magazine is waiting to hear back.

However, as a result of the increased cell efficiency, Sanyo says its new HIT N Series 240W crystalline-based photovoltaics (PV) module has also achieved the greatest efficiency of any other module on the market, at 19 percent. Currently undergoing commercialization, it is scheduled to be on sale in Europe from early next year. It is unclear at this time what the initial production capacity is expected to be, or if any orders have yet been secured.

Sanyo explains that the new efficiencies were reached with its HIT-N240SE10 cell through the adoption of a new tab design and anti-reflection coated glass. For example, with its current N series (HIP-***NKHE5), the cell is connected with two tabs, whereas the new N series (HIT-N240SE10) uses three tabs. This is said to reduce electrical losses in the cell fingers. Additionally, the company says that through designing new thinner tabs, the effective area is enlarged to capture more sunlight and realize an improvement in efficiency.

The New N series also uses anti-reflection coated glass, which reduces losses of

reflection and scattering of sunlight. Due to this improvement, more sunlight is said to arrive to the cells, thus improving efficiency. This effect is especially noticeable in the morning and evening, says Sanyo, when the sun is at a low position; therefore, increased specific yield can be achieved.

These changes reportedly provided an 11.1 percent increase in efficiency over the company’s 17.1 percent efficient HIP-215NKHE5 cell, and a 9.8 percent increase in efficiency over its 17.3 percent efficient HIT-240HDE4 cell.