Longi half cut PERC module exceeds 360 W

Longi Solar has announced that its 120-cell half-cut monocrystalline passivated emitter rear contact cell (PERC) module has exceeded 360 W, thus setting another world record for the technology. The results have been confirmed by Germany’s TÜV-SÜD.

“Average cell efficiency reached 22%; degradation in the first year is less than 2%, and stabilizing at less than 0.55% per year. PERC has been proven to increase power generation performance in low-light conditions and has excellent resistance to hot spots,” says Longi Solar vice president, Jun Lv.

In competition

World record efficiencies for PERC technology have been bouncing between three of China’s biggest solar PV players over the past few months.

Longi now usurps JA Solar as the record holder for the certified power output measurement of a mono-si PERC 60-cell module. Last December, the latter achieved 326.67 W, which was also verified by TÜV-SÜD.

On October 23, 2017, Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE CalLab confirmed Longi had achieved a record conversion efficiency of 22.71% with its PERC solar cells.

Two days later, JinkoSolar revealed that the Chinese Academy of Science Testing Laboratory confirmed its coversion efficiency of 22.78% with its P-type PERC solar cells.

Following this, JinkoSolar bettered its own record on November 8, hitting 23.45%. This was again confirmed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Not to be outdone, in December, Longi claimed it had achieved an 82.15% record bifaciality for the bifacial version of the same cell that it set a record 22.71% conversion efficiency on in October.

In January, it then announced a new record conversion rate of 20.41% for PERC modules (type 60); and in February, it achieved a 23.6% efficiency for its PERC cells, thus again beating its own previous records.

The manufacturer is currently in the process of moving its solar cell production line completely to PERC output. The move is expected to be completed this year, it says, adding that it will, “gradually phase into mass production its world record monocrystalline products.”

China’s EGing is another manufacturer that has recently announced it will abandon all other cell concepts, to focus only on PERC production from the beginning of 2018.

PERC power

Based on forecasts from the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic (ITRPV) PERC technologies will hold a 55% share of the module market by 2027.

Writing for pv magazine last November, independent solar analyst Corinne Lin said that for high efficiency modules, PERC capacity will increase from 15 GW in late 2016 to 29 GW by the end of this year. It is expected to reach 48 GW by late 2018. Conventional mono-Si cell will be replaced by PERC, and PERC will become a standard part of production line equipment, she said.

Meanwhile, in a recent pv magazine webinar on reaching higher standards with cell and module innovation, JinkoSolar said that mono-PERC is, at present, the most cost effective crystalline silicon high efficiency technology – best used for gigawatt-scale industrial production.

However, it sees half cut (HC) cells as currently holding the most advantageous cost benefits balance, while bifacial modules offer the highest potential for reducing levelized costs of electricity (LCOEs).