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Halved cells enable photovoltaic modules to become more powerful
31.07.2013

New production processes increase efficiency

The recently published BINE-Projektinfo brochure "Development of high-efficiency solar cells and modules" (10/2013) describes processes that make photovoltaic modules more durable and efficient. Scientists in the SONNE research consortium are working on increasing current module outputs of around 250 watts to more than 300 watts.

One method is to halve the cells using lasers. The solar cells are transported along a conveyor belt beneath a laser. This creates a rupture point on the rear side of the cells along which a mechanical cell divider separates the cells. The scientists developed their own special connection concept for the new cell size. This can be deployed with standard technology or a wire electrode. The resulting modules are more powerful than comparable modules with entire cells. The researchers calculated a gain in output of 6 Wp for a module with 245 Wp.

Metal contact lines on the solar cells close the electric circuit but do not shade the cell surface. One goal of the research project was to print contact lines that were as thin as possible. For this purpose a demonstration plant was developed and put into operation. With high-efficiency cells that were printed with 40-µm-wide lines, the efficiency increased by 0.2%.

In the SONNE project, ten companies and four research institutes are working on increasing the efficiency of modules made of crystalline silicon cells. The intention is to automate the developed production processes on an industrial scale and thus make them cheaper. SolarWorld Innovations GmbH is the project coordinator. Scientific project partners include the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hameln (ISFH), Chemnitz University of Technology and Mittweida University of Applied Sciences.

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New production processes increase efficiency

The BINE-Projektinfo „Development of high-efficiency solar cells and modules“ (10/2013)

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(300 dpi, tiff, 2.9 MB)

Figure 1
As part of the joint research project SONNE a new glas-glas module has been developed. Here the rear-side glas is put on.
(© Solarworld Freiberg)

Figure 2
From laboratory to market-ready solution: Researchers enhance the performance of solar cells and modules.
(© BSW-Solar / Innovationsallianz)