Trina Solar sets new IBC cell efficiency record

Continuing to show a sharp degree of solar technology leadership, Trina Solar broke its own efficiency record for its silicon solar cell with an Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) structure on a large-area 156×156 mm2 n-type mono-crystalline silicon wafer. It is the second time in a matter of months that the company has broken a cell efficiency record, helping to highlight that solar technology is improving at a commendable rate.

The record was set at the State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of China and was independently confirmed by the Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories (JET) in Yokohama, Japan. The IBC cell achieved an exciting 23.5 % efficiency, which comprehensively beats the previous record of 22.94%, set by Trina Solar in May, 2014.

"We are very pleased to announce the new efficiency result achieved by our scientists and researchers,” commented Trina Solar Vice-President and Chief Scientist, Dr. Pierre Verlinden. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a mono-crystalline silicon IBC solar cell with an area of 238.6 cm2 exhibits a total-area conversion efficiency of 23.5%."

"Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) silicon solar cells are the most efficient silicon solar cells to date but require a complicated fabrication process,” Verlinden continued. “From the beginning we developed a scalable technology for IBC solar cells around large-area 156mm x 156mm wafers as we believe that the wafer size is the key to manufacturing cost reduction of this efficient solar cell."

The Chinese company is often at the forefront of PV technological developments. In December 2015 Trina Solar set a new record for industrial high-efficiency p-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cells, with efficiency of 22.13%; again at its State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of China.

The company previously said that one of the reasons it continues to push technological innovation was the commitment to making solar electricity as competitive as traditional fossil fuel power generation. With this goal, combined with the results that it achieves it is little surprise that Trina Solar’s modules were named the most bankable in the solar industry earlier this year.

It was during a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) survey of PV industry stakeholders that Trina Solar modules came out on top of 50 module makers, as the only brand that was considered likely to obtain non-recourse debt financing by commercial banks.