The promise of greater cell efficiency and greatly reduced cell production costs has compelled solar industry heavyweights Heraeus and JinkoSolar to embark on a third strategic partnership together – this time in the pursuit of the creation of “Super PV Cells”.
Germany’s Heraeus, which is a market leader in the creation of solar metallization pastes, and China’s JinkoSolar – which is the world’s largest solar company in terms of module shipment volumes – have been working together since August 2015.
This latest partnership will see the two firms collaborate on developing cheaper and more efficient solar cells, building upon the last time Heraeus and JinkoSolar worked together – resulting in a 0.3% PV cell efficiency improvement and a reduction in the production cost of the cells by 15% per watt.
According to Heraeus, this latest partnership will underpin its aim to produce silver pastes that can improve the efficiency of solar cells by 0.2% every year.
The agreement will also see the two companies explore energy markets along the Belt and Road regions of China, which are pivotal in nurturing renewable energy investment and innovation as part of China’s energy transition.
“This is the third time our companies have signed a strategic partnership,” said Heraeus Photovoltaics president Andreas Liebheit, “and it sets a new benchmark of successful cooperation between upstream and downstream companies for the ever-changing and challenging PV industry.”
Since 2015, JinkoSolar has exclusively used Heraeus’ front-side silver pastes in its solar modules, and has been a supportive partner in Heraeus’ product innovation, helping it to launch its SOL9631J and SOL9641J next-generation pastes that were developed specifically for mono PERC and black silicon cells made by JinkoSolar.
For its part, JinkoSolar has expedited its overseas expansion, and now has a registered cell production capacity of 1.5 GW, and a module capacity of 1.5 GW, in Malaysia. This amounts to approximately 15% of the company’s production value.
“The new energy industry is one of the key areas of cooperation in the Belt and Road strategy,” added JinkoSolar CEO Chen Kangping. “With increased competitiveness, new energy companies in China, including PV companies, have spared no efforts to explore overseas markets and expedited their global operations.”