Hitachi Chemical's wavelength conversion particles increase cell efficiency

Hitachi Chemical announced on Monday that it would begin sales of its wavelength conversion particles for solar encapsulant sheets that help increase the conversion efficiency of solar cell power generation.

While solar cell power generation is increasing in popularity around the world, the company said PV systems still faced major issues where the level of power generation is affected by the amount and time of sunshine. "Manufacturers of solar cells and materials are concentrating their efforts on addressing the issue of how to improve conversion efficiency by increasing power generation from a limited amount of sunlight," the company added.

Hitachi Chemical said its wavelength conversion particles for solar encapsulants help increase power generation conversion efficiency. The group has now established a mass-production system to begin sales.

The wavelength conversion particles consist of phosphors contained within acrylic resin particles and work by converting short wavelength light (ultraviolet light), which could not previously be used for power generation, into long wavelength light (visible light). Solar cell modules that use solar encapsulant sheets (wavelength conversion film) made of these particles are expected to increase conversion efficiency by up to around 2.2% when compared with solar cell modules using conventional solar encapsulants in outdoor tests.

The particles are also dispersed throughout acrylic resin with outstanding durability, which means that the durability of solar cell modules is unaffected.

Module manufacturers do not have to alter the manufacturing process to mix the particles into solar encapsulant sheets, the company said, adding that the process contributes to an increase in conversion efficiency without affecting productivity.

In addition to solar cells, the technology can be adopted to add new functionality to counterfeiting protection, identification of authenticity, optical materials and other applications through the use of wavelength conversion, the group added.