Trina Solar sets new efficiency record for silicon cells

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Trina Solar said Monday that it had set new world records for high efficiency p-type and n-type silicon solar cells.

Trina researchers achieved the results at the company’s State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology in Changzhou.

The p-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell on an industrial Cz wafer, which integrates advanced technologies including back surface passivation and local back surface field, reached an efficiency of 21.4% (156 by 156 square millimeters). Fraunhofer ISE CalLab in Germany has independently confirmed the result.

The same advanced cell technologies on a high quality multi-crystalline Si wafer resulted in a new champion p-type multi-crystalline silicon solar cell with an efficiency of 20.53% (156 by 156 square millimeters) — confirmed by the National Center of Supervision and Inspection on Solar Photovoltaic Product Quality (CPVT) in Wuxi, China. Both results established new world records for mono and multi p-type silicon solar cells with passivated rear surface and local contact, on six-inch substrates and fabricated with an industrial process. The cells are commonly called iPERC cells.

The n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell with an Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) structure and industrially feasible production process achieved an efficiency of 22.9% on a 156 by 56 square milimeters n-type Cz wafer — independently tested by Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET). The result marked another milestone in the development of IBC solar cells and comes shortly after the demonstration of a laboratory IBC solar cell with a 24.4% efficiency developed through Trina’s collaboration with the Australian National University’s (ANU) Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems in March this year, the company said.

"Though these technologies are not currently in production, they will be part of our future commercialized Honey Plus and IBC products,” said Pierre Verlinden, Trina’s vice president and chief scientist. “Our aim is to continuously integrate technological developments into our PV products, which are currently commercialized or would be in the future, to further drive down the product cost, strengthen our competitive advantages and provide affordable solar power to the world."

Trina Solar supplies 28.5 MW of modules to large-scale projects in UK

In related news, Trina reported last week the supply of 28.5 MW of PV modules to renewable energy provider Sustainable Power Group (sPower) and U.K. solar developer Camborne Capital.

Camborne and sPower will use 105,560 of Trina’s 270 W monocrystalline DC05A.08 Honey M silicon solar PV modules on project sites in the United Kingdom.

The panels will be installed over the coming months to ensure the facilities are energized and accredited to meet the March 31, 2015, 1.4 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC) deadline.

Camborne CEO Declan Mackle said, “This is a significant milestone for Camborne and sPower as we move to the construction phase of the first nearly 30MW of projects. After evaluating several PV module suppliers, we decided to work with Trina Solar because of the company’s quality product, proven track records in solar projects and its commitment to client service.”

Mackle said the company looked forward to continuing its partnership with Trina as it further maximized opportunities in the U.K. market before the ROC deadline.