- On Dec. 4, 2020, the last day of TaiyangNews’ High Efficiency Solar Technologies Conference, an executive panel of leaders from research and manufacturing had an interactive discussion on the status and prospects of IBC solar cell technology, the efficiency leader in commercial cells and modules
- High efficiency and low degradation along with good bifaciality are some of the characteristics of IBC solar cell technology
- These configurations offer themselves to be paired with tandem as well as thin silicon expanding their use
- IBC solar cells are also easy to implement and like any other high efficiency product, constant improvement through quality control is important to expand its use
- IBC offers a perfect bottom cell for 3-terminal configuration of silicon-perovskite tandemcells
High efficiency solar cells have been gaining traction in the field of solar PV technology of late with almost every leading module company announcing or investing manufacturing capacities for high efficiency solar cell technologies. On Dec. 4, 2020, the last day of TaiyangNews’ High Efficiency Solar Technologies Conference, an executive panel of leaders from research and manufacturing had an interactive discussion on the status and prospects of IBC solar cell technology, the efficiency leader in commercial cells and modules. The lively interaction covered several other points of interest as well ranging from policy concerns, financing, patents among others – and can be viewed here.
Explaining the speed at which back contact solar cell technology has been gaining ground in a short span of time, Dr. Radovan Kopecek, Managing Director Advanced Cell Concepts & Member Executive Committee at ISC Konstanz called IBC as the ultimate cell concept for the global solar PV industry for the ease of its implementation and interconnectedness. N-type IBC technology offers benefits of high efficiency, low degradation with high yields and high bifaciality. The recording of Radovan Kopecek’s presentation Overview of Back Contact Cell Technology Developments can be viewed here.
Dr. Doug Rose, VP Technology Strategy of SunPower, a pioneer of IBC technolog, shared the various offerings of its IBC solar panels produced under Maxeon Solar while also explaining the cell architecture. The company claims 25% current average efficiency for its IBC solar cell and uses ‘no silver’ and ‘no lead’ in its manufacture. The recording of Doug Rose’s presentation Maxeon IBC – Combining Efficiency with Superior Reliability can be viewed here.
Dr. Charlie Gay, solar veteran and CEO of solar cell/module start-up Violet Power explained that IBC cell configurations maximize future product and application options for tandem and thin silicon. Much of the progress in IBC is thanks to production on economies of scale and from having markets that manufacture with continuous improvements. Violet Power is aiming for 5 GW annual integrated crystalline silicon solar PV manufacturing capacity in the US starting with an initial 500 MW, offering 50-year warranty (see 5 GW Solar PV Manufacturing Ambition In US). The recording of Charlie Gay’s presentation Maximizing Application Opportunities with IBC Cells can be viewed here.
Dr. Gianluca Coletti, Adjunct Professor at UNSW and Project Manager Tandem PV at TNO (ECN), said 3-terminal configuration of perovskite on the front and silicon on the rear having bifacial flavor are ideal for back contact cells. The 3-terminal structures bring the best of the two worlds from 2-terminal and 4-terminal. The 3-termainal structure does not require current matching between the two sub-cells of the tandem structure, a key limitation of the 2-terminal structures. It facilitates easy device integration of the 2-terminal structures. Coletti provided a comprehensive overview of the 3 different tandem structures referring to different aspects – production, performance, synergy, ecosystem and market size. The recording of Gianluca Coletti’s presentation Next Generation Silicon based Tandem Technologies can be viewed here.
Speaking at the session moderated by TaiyangNews Managing Director Michael Schmela, the 4-member panel unanimously agreed that it is important to maximize durability of the end product with quality control and continuous improvement in the technology.
In summary: Day 1 of the TaiyangNews conference saw senior executives from JinkoSolar, LONGi Solar and JA Solar discussing 182mm PERC cell based high efficiency modules (see Day 1: TaiyangNews High Efficiency Solar Event). Day 2 was the launchpad of our 2nd edition of Heterojunction Solar Technology Report 2020 along with an executive panel of Risen Energy, CSEM and Toyo Aluminium talking about the potential of HJT (see Day 2: TaiyangNews High Efficiency Solar Event). Day 3 had Jolywood, Fraunhofer ISE and RENA Technologies offering insights on TOPCon as an easy PERC upgrade (see Day 3: TaiyangNews High Efficiency Solar Event).
TaiyangNews is set to come back with a virtual conference on January 27-28, 2021 on Advanced Module Technologies.