Clean Power

Published on May 23rd, 2016 | by James Ayre

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Trina Solar Sets News Conversion Efficiency Record For Large-Area Interdigitated Back Contact Silicon Solar Cells — 23.5%

May 23rd, 2016 by  

Trina-SolarThe prominent solar photovoltaic firm Trina Solar has achieved a new world record for high-efficiency silicon solar cells with an Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) structure on a large-area 156×156 mm2 n-type mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) wafer, according to recent reports.

The new conversion efficiency record of 23.5% — achieved by researchers at Trina Solar’s State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of China — was independently verified by Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories in Yokohama, Japan.

The press release provides more: “The record-breaking n-type mono-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated with a process that integrates the advanced Interdigitated Back Contact structure with industrial low-cost processes. The best 156×156 mm2 solar cell fabricated entirely with a screen-printed process reached a total-area efficiency of 23.5%, which breaks the previous record of 22.94% for the same type of solar cell that was also established by the Company in May, 2014. Particularly, this remarkable result has been achieved just 2 years after the previous announcement by Trina Solar of 24.4% efficiency for a small area (2cm x 2cm) laboratory IBC solar cell developed in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, Australia.”

The head of development for high-performance solar cells at the State Key Laboratory of Trina Solar, Dr Pierre Verlinden, commented: “Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) silicon solar cells are the most efficient silicon solar cells to date but require a complicated fabrication process. Trina Solar has been developing IBC solar cells since the establishment of its State Key Laboratory with the objective to reach record efficiencies with the lowest possible cost. 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.”


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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • vensonata .

    In general in both batteries and PV energy density is almost synonymous with price decline. Shipping, installation, materials, manufacturing, space requirements are closely tied to cost. So a nice goal is 25% efficiency for PV by 2020, and 400 wh/ kg density for vehicle lithium batteries.

  • neroden

    I can’t keep track of all the different solar panel variants and efficiency records.

  • JamesWimberley

    Two years from the lab cell to the preindustrial one. Perhaps less from this to mass production.

  • ADW

    If you live in the USA 156 mm = 6″

    Nice update, maybe someday the announcement will be about production ramp.

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