Chinese manufacturer Yingli produced cells based on six inch wafers with efficiency of more than 21%. The process utilizes the same tools as Yingli’s commercial Panda modules, adapted for the IBC cells using only conventional screen printing technology.
ECN has focused its research on n-type solar cells and back contact designs, as they offer high potential for efficiency, output and durability. Until recently, says the research organization, complexity of production was the main barrier to commercialization. ECN now say that producing the cells on Yingli’s pilot line demonstrates that they have tackled this challenge, and commercial production of modules based on the process is expected in 2018.
“Yingli has the facilities to produce high quality solar cells on a large scale, at a low cost,” said ECN researcher Ilkay Cesar. “This greatly enhances our opportunities for research and development of cell processes and module integration. We are happy to partner with Yingli to continue the development of commercial processes for n-type solar cells.”
This development is the latest in a line of collaborations between Tempress and Yingli. A 400 kW installation featuring Yingli’s PANDA modules is currently under construction at Tempress’ headquarters in the Netherlands, which will be the largest installation of bifacial modules in Europe once completed.
“This result shows once again the synergy of our long lasting and fruitful cooperation with Yingli and ECN,” says Tempress General Manager Albert Hasper. “For Tempress this is an important opportunity to adapt and develop equipment and processes that can be used in the production of these next generation cells. We are thankful to have such valuable partners.”