New Trina PERC Cell Record

Chinese Trina Solar Breaks Its Former PERC Cell Record, Now Reaching 22.61%
02:57 PM (Beijing Time) - 20. December 2016

Trina Solar broke its own solar cell PERC efficiency record once again, now reaching an impressive 22.61%

Key Takeaways

  • Trina attained new record efficiency of 22.61% on large size p-type CZ substrate of 243.33 cm2
  • Trina broke its own record of 22.13% in about a year span
  • The record cell fabricated with low-cost industrial processes
  • Trina still holding record for multicrystalline PERC cell at 20.7%

Leading Chinese PV module maker, Trina Solar once again raised the bar for best PERC cell performance on large size by announcing a new record efficiency of 22.61%. About year after publishing a 22.13% record in December 2015, the company has broken its own record with close to 0.5% absolute improvement, again based on PERC cell architecture. The new record cell has been developed by Trina’s R&D wing, the so-called State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of China (SKL PVST) on p-type Czochralski monocrystalline silicon substrate of 243.33 cm2 area. The results were independently certified by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE’s CalLab.

PERC stands for passivated emitter and rear cell and has been the hottest topic among PV cell makers. The crux of the process technology lies in adding an active passivation to the standard cell structure, replacing the conventional back surface field (BSF). The record cell obviously features rear surface passivation in addition to an advanced passivation scheme adapted to the front surface and anti-LID (Light Induced Degradation) and was fabricated with a low-cost industrial process, according to the company’s press release. The best efficiency reported so far for PERC cells is 25% for a small lab device by renowned scientist Martin Green of UNSW 17 years ago – and Trina’s current achievement is definitely a step towards closing the gap with an industrial processes.

Trina has been spearheading efficiency development in PERC technology over the last two years. The company has first reported a record level performance in November 2014 with 21.4%. While SolarWorld superseded this level in May 2015 by attaining 21.7%, Trina quickly claimed back the title in about 7 months and retained its dominance since then. While in January 2016 Taiwanese cell maker Gintech announced it’s best PERC cell efficiency of 21.44%, it was falling short by 0.26 percentage points to Trina’s achievement. Trina is also the record holder for PERC cells based on multicrystalline wafers with an efficiency of 20.7% reported in September 2015.

Trina is not just topping in record performance; the company has also been successful in transforming the technology into mass production. In July 2016, the company said it attained average production efficiency of 21.12% in larger volume manufacturing.

Shravan Chunduri

Shravan Chunduri is Head of Technology at TaiyangNews.

Write, follow the author.

Shravan Chunduri