German R&D institute ISC Konstanz and Franco Traverso’s recently launched Italian firm MegaCell Srl have signed an agreement for the licensing of ISC’s bifacial BiSoN solar cell technology.
In addition to the right of commercially manufacturing BiSoN cells and modules at its fab in the northern Italian town of Carmignano di Brenta, located in the region of Veneto, the agreement also allows MegaCell to sublicense the technology to other cell producers. The deal also guarantees ISC Konstanz’s extensive support to MegaCell during the transfer and ramp-up of the BiSoN technology.
The agreement, along with the recently announced acquisition of the former Helios Technology cell production lines in Carmignano di Brenta, are paving the way for MegaCell to quickly proceed with the introduction of the new Bifacial Solar Cell on N-Type (BiSoN), a high efficiency monocrystalline silicon N-type cell that is already above 20% at competitive cost, according to the company.
MegaCell said the BiSoN solar cell demonstrates its complete potential when integrated into a bifacial module: with only 60 cells, this module can feature an equivalent power of 350 W — the same annual energy production a 350 W monofacial module would achieve. This corresponds to an energy yield that is more than 30% higher if compared to a standard 60 cells module (250 265 W) installed with fixed tilt, the company added, pointing out that if the bifacial BiSoN module is mounted on a single axis tracker, the gain is more than 50%.
MegaCell expects to begin manufacturing of the BiSoN cells by the beginning of 2015 after revamping and upgrading its production lines. The company expects to have an annual capacity of 80 MW and an estimated revenue from cells and modules of 50 million.
MegaCell said its manufacturing endeavor will receive a further boost from the technological alliance between the Centrotherm Photovoltaics and ISC Konstanz for the joint development of innovative diffusion processes, which it said would contribute to a further increase of solar cell efficiencies while reducing their manufacturing cost.
ISC Konstanz acquired patents from the former Bosch Solar Energy as part of its development of the next generation of BiSoN cell technology, which will be based on ion-implantation and allow cell efficiencies of up to 21.5%. The institute will jointly exploit the technology with MegaCell.
"Thanks to BiSoN, the cost per kilowatt hour (LCOE) for PV generated electricity will experience a significant reduction, giving in this way the PV industry the opportunity to compete with electrical power generation by fossil fuels," said Traverso.
Eckard Wefringhaus, member of ISC Konstanz’s executive committee, added, "The agreement with MegaCell Srl is an important milestone in our efforts to spread photovoltaics and to industrially implement the results of our research activities. In addition we see it as a recognition of your philosophy of focusing our R&D activities strongly on industrially applicable technologies."