- High cell efficiencies are a key motivating factor for Heterojunction Technology (HJT)
- Due to the superior passivation quality, the technology can attain very high Voc of above 740 mV
- PV producers, equipment makers and research institutes have announced different efficiency levels at various levels of the HJT process
- In this article, we have listed record cell efficiencies of leading HJT players with the best cells on standard equipment exceeding the 24% level
High cell efficiencies are a key motivating factor for Heterojunction Technology (HJT). Due to the superior passivation quality, the technology can attain very high Voc of above 740 mV. PV producers, equipment makers and research institutes have announced different efficiency levels at various levels of the HJT process. In the following paragraphs, we have listed record cell efficiencies of leading HJT players (Status: March. 2019).
CEA-INES says its pilot line attained a mean efficiency of 23%, with a top efficiency of 24%. During January 2019, the research institute announced that it attained 23.9% certified efficiency on standard size (244 cm2) 5-busbar cells processed with industrial equipment from Meyer Burger in comparable conditions to those of industrial production.
CSEM’s best efficiency is 24.4%, the highest among research centers. It was achieved on a 4 cm2 cell area measured in-house. According to Despeisse, this cell was made using industrial TCO and screen-printed metallization. “Up to 24.16% has been demonstrated on a 220 cm2 cell,” he said. At the 2017 EU PVSEC conference, CSEM presented a paper in which it showed that a 24.1% certified efficiency was attained on 224.8 cm2 cell employing copper plating on HJT cells (semi-processed) on a production line at Choshu Industry Co. (CIC) in Japan. In February 2019, the institute attained 24.2% efficiency that was independently certified by ISFH CalTec for a two side-contacted cell. However, CSEM has not provided the cell area, which is most likely a small R&D size cell.
GS-Solar started with a 100 MW HJT production line in 2016 with average efficiency of 22.5%. In 2018, the company built a 500 MW manufacturing line based on copper electrode technology. Average cell efficiencies now reach 22.8% and best production efficiency is at 23%.
Hanergy announced at the end of January 2019 that it has reached a very high efficiency of 24.32% for a full size HJT solar cell. The record efficiency was confirmed by the Japanese Electrical Safety & Environment Technology (JET) Laboratories.
Hevel has been mass producing HJT cells at its fab in Russia since 2017. Its current best conversion efficiency is at 23%.
Jinergy has no R&D line, instead it completely focuses on its 100 MW commercial manufacturing line, which produces HJT cells with an average efficiency of 23.7%. In March 2019, Jinergy announced that the best R&D cell reached a 24.73% record. However, since the efficiency was not certified, it is not included in the above table and graph.
Meyer Burger’s HJT technology resulted in an efficiency of 24.02% on the front side of a commercial size cell made in a production environment in early 2019, which was confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In March 2019, the equipment maker announced that it has already achieved a record cell of over 24.2% on its standardized HJT equipment with a roadmap in place to reach 25%.
Sunpreme says it has three generations of HJT. According to project leader Jiazhen Zhu, the first generation employing screen printing of silver pastes is already in production in China with an average efficiency of over 22.3%. The efficiency is mainly limited by old equipment, which was bought in about 2011, and the target for the new line is 23% average, according to Zhu. The company has a pilot line in the US with copper plating, which Zhu characterizes as its Gen 2 technology. “We have already hit 24% with copper plating,” said Zhu, “Our target for the pilot production line is at least 23.5% average.” Sunpreme says it is cooperating with universities to develop tandem cells, which it considers 3rd generation cells, with an aim to increase efficiency to 26% at “much lower costs.”
3SUN (ENEL Green Power), as part of its project to commercially manufacture bifacial solar modules using their own HJT cells as of July 2019, has attained 22.2% efficiency for the first HJT cell produced at its new line in Catania, Sicily at the end of February.
This text is from our first TaiyangNews Heterojunction Solar Technology Report, which was released in March 2019 and can be downloaded for free here.