Fraunhofer ISE Reaches New Levels of Efficiency

Fraunhofer ISE claims a new record of a 26 percent absorption rate for a both-sides contacted silicon solar cell. According to Fraunhofer ISE, the system used to set the record has the ability to increase efficiencies by up to 27 percent.

Dr. Armin Richter of Fraunhofer ISE led a group of researchers who used Tunnel Oxide Passivating Contact, also known as TOPCon technology, as the foundation for the cell’s architecture. The technology had advantages such as low surface recombination failures and effective charge carrier delivery over IBC cells.

The cell used to set the efficiency record, on the other hand, had a formed junction on the rear end. This eliminated the need for full-surface boron doping on the front surface, leaving only a small boron diffusion slightly underneath the front-side contacts.

The TOPCoRE cell allows for higher voltages and filling rates than cells with a receiving emitter out the front. It also makes wafers more efficient for charge carrier delivery. The front part of the cell is also more easily passivated.

The research team was able to derive some essential design guidelines for future high-performance silicon solar cells with above 26 percent efficiency by using a systematic simulation-based analysis.

Future both-sides-contacted solar cells may have the ability to achieve efficiencies of more than 27%, breaking the existing world record for silicon solar cells.

Besides doing research and testing on high-performance both-sides-contacted solar cells, Fraunhofer ISE is also involved in supporting 5GW integrated solar PV manufacturing plant in Spain.

The firm collaborated with Greenland and Bosch Rexroth in designing and developing the automated and integrated plant. The solar manufacturing center will be constructed and run in the free trade area of Seville’s harbor in Andalusia.

Fraunhofer ISE stated that it will advise Greenland on factory preparation, technical support, and the production of the advanced solar cell.

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