New solar cell architecture to reduce money costs and improve voltage – pv magazine international

Developed by a start-up based in the United States, the new manufacturing process is supposed to reduce the consumption of money and improve the performance of the solar module by up to 3 W. It consists of connecting sub-cells in series within of a single cell in order to increase the device. voltage and without requiring the cells to be physically broken and rewired.

The American start-up Solar Inventions has announced that it has obtained a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for its Configurable Current Cells, or C3, technology for manufacturing solar cells.

“With US Patent No. 11,145,774 in place, Solar Inventions will finalize the C3 patents pending in China, Europe, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, Israel, [the] The United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Turkey, Vietnam and Taiwan, which together account for 90% of the global solar market, ”the company said in a statement.

The manufacturing process is supposed to reduce silver costs 3% on the front face of the cell and 5% on the rear face, while increasing the overall power of the solar module from 2 to 3 W. It consists of connecting sub-cells in series within the ‘a single cell to increase the voltage of the device. Sub-cells are created on the wafer without physically cleaving the solar cell, resulting in a smaller wafer perimeter compared to the wafer area of ​​the individual solar cells. The subcells are electrically divided during the metallization process.

Every time a solar cell is cut in half, the perimeter to area ratio increases, ”said company CEO Ben Damiani. “This results in non-ideal diode effects and higher edge recombination speed for individual half-cells. According to him, the new technique provides the same advantages as semi-cut cells but without requiring the cells to be physically broken and rewired. NOTand the money savings would be proportional to the number of busbars on the cell. “A model with three H-shaped busbars reduces the money consumption and a model with six busbars reduces it further,” he explained.

The proposed cellular architecture requires a smaller silver contact zone, which reduces the rate of recombination for the metal on silicon surface and causes a 1-5 mV increase in open circuit voltage in the solar cell. In addition, the lower silver consumption would also be responsible for less shading of the front metal, which improves optical transmission in bulk silicon for absorption and creation of electric current.

“For example, a nine-bar PERC solar cell would save about $ 1 million in money per gigawatt of output, while improving performance by 2-3 watts per panel, for an additional 1 to 2 million power gain. dollars, ”said Damiani. “The added flexibility of the sub-cell architecture allows for new ways to limit the negative impact of power loss due to higher electrical current, which is directly related to the size of the wafer inside the cell. ‘a solar module. “

The manufacturer also claims C3 technology can be applied in existing solar module factories, as it does not require any modification of the tabulation and the flow of products.

In a recent interview with pv magazineUS analyst Matthew Watson said that silver’s share of PV module costs has risen by around 5% in recent months to about 10% of the total. “With PV module costs hovering around $ 0.018 to $ 0.019 / watt and money accounting for about 10% of the overall module cost structure, and module and cell prices dropping, finding a way to reduce the cost. component of the cost of money will become an increasingly difficult task, ”Watson said. “Over the past 20 years, Silver has seen an average price growth of 8.31% year over year, which is higher than the current rate of design savings. This means that it will be very difficult to lower that $ / watt money component.

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