SolarWorld to introduce five busbars to U.S. production

The move towards three, four and five busbar technology continues apace, with SolarWorld the latest to indicate a shift to five busbar deployment. The module producer has indicated that its application of five busbars will result in a cell efficiency of 21.51%, on PERC cells utilizing p-type c-Si wafers.

SolarWorld says up to 2% efficiency boost can be achieved using five busbars. The company reports that modification of its existing stringer systems will allow for the five-busbar approach to be realized. Modifications will be completed during Q2 2015, although the volume of five-busbar production has not been released.

The German-based company with manufacturing in both its European facilities and in the U.S. aims to achieve a 300W 60-cell module by Q3 of this year.

Last month Chinese manufacturer Suntech announced that it was employing four busbar equipment to all of its GW-scale cell production.

Along with increasing the number of busbars, allowing for thinner and taller busbars to be deployed, ‘busbarless’ technology is slowly being introduced into the market. Most commonly seen in high-efficiency applications at this stage, busbarless contacting employs a wire mesh instead of silver busbars to connect cells.

European Equipment suppliers Schmid and Meyer Burger are introducing their busbarless technologies in the form of the Multi Busbar Connector and SmartWire products respectively. GT Advanced Technologies, from the U.S., also offers busbarless technology in the form of Merlin. GT claims a three-to-five percent efficiency boost through the application of Merlin interconnection technology.

Busbarless production equipment was featured in pv magazine’s 50 Technology Highlights publication that was unveiled at last week’s SNEC trade show and is available for free download here.

This article was altered on May 29 to reflect that the 21.51% record was achieved with PERC technology on p-type wafers.