Heterojunction is not just another high efficiency cell structure, but also boasts the best bifaciality. In fact, Panasonic’s (formerly Sanyo) HIT modules were the first commercial bifacial products that were already available in the year 2000. HJT technology typically exhibits the highest bifaciality of all advanced crystalline cell technologies, reaching above 90%. That’s because of its symmetrical structure and superior passivation attribute of the structure also on the rear side. However, as with other n-type cell architectures, HJT also requires a silver-based metallization pattern on both sides to be bifacial, which means higher silver consumption and adding to cost. Another drawback of HJT is that it uses low-temperature cured pastes, which means their paste consumption is high in order to achieve good conductivity levels. But there are alternative ways: interesting metallization options such as plating or employing innovative interconnection approaches such as MBB can significantly reduce paste consumption. For details on HJT, check our December released Heterojunction Solar Technology in 2020 report.
HJT has attracted a lot of attention over the last year. Currently, it is impossible to track the announcements. Several companies from different backgrounds – existing HJT players, new to PV and mainstream PV manufacturers – have announced expansion plans or their entry into HJT. Norwegian REC is perhaps the key initiator among cell/module makers for the industrialization of HJT technology. The company, with the support of its then equipment and technology supplier Meyer Burger, set up a manufacturing line in Singapore with a capacity of 600 MW. REC is now in the planning stage for a new fab with a capacity of 4 GW in France.
Risen Energy started a 2.5 GW HJT cell and module project in China at the end of August 2019, with plans to start production in 2021. Currently, Risen has a module capacity of 1 GW, while the 500 MW cell lines are in the ramp-up process.
The first cell line is in production with the highest production efficiency achieved of above 24.5%. Tongwei, in addition to the existing 400 MW HJT installed lines, has recently finalized the equipment suppliers for its next 1 GW HJT fab in China. HJT is part of its gigantic plans to build 100 GW production capacity by 2023.
Hevel has a cell and module production facility with a capacity of 340 MW in Russia. The company is also the technology partner in a 1 GW HJT manufacturing project in its home country. There are several other companies including CIE Power, EcoSolifer, Enel, GS-Solar, Jinergy that have scaled up the technology into commercial production, with many eyes now looking at Meyer Burger. The Swiss company has decided to go captive and turn from a prime HJT production equipment supplier into a cell/module manufacturer with plans to start a 400 MW cell/module line in the second half of the year in Germany. The first modules can be ordered as of late April, and the first products will be delivered in July (see Meyer Burger To Launch New Modules On April 27, 2021). The graph summarizes the efficiency levels of different HJT players.
The text is an excerpt from the TaiyangNews Bifacial Solar 2021 – Part 1: Cells and Modules report. For more details on bifacial heterojunction technology, please download the report, here.
TaiyangNews’ Bifacial Solar Conference 2021 Videos are available on YouTube; to view the event recordings click here.