Bitterfeld-Wolfen, 11. July 2011, Q-Cells SE, one of the world's leading photovoltaics companies, has set a world record for the fourth time in 2011. A polycrystalline solar module from Q-Cells' in-house research centre achieved a module efficiency rating of 18.1% related to the aperture area. Independent Fraunhofer ISE (Institute for Solar Energy) in Freiburg confirmed this result. Recording this efficiency rating, Q-Cells has beaten its own world record of 17.8%, set in spring 2011. Q-Cells polycrystalline solar modules are now the first modules in the sector to achieve module efficiency of more than 18%.
Both world record-setting crystalline solar modules are based on the company's new cell concept: Q-Cells Q.ANTUM. In April 2011, a cell produced on the basis of the Q.ANTUM technology had already marked a record for major polycrystalline solar cells, achieving an efficiency of 19.5%. In March, a series production Q.SMART thin-film module, based on CIGS technology, marked another world record on behalf of Q-Cells, with an independently confirmed efficiency rating of 14.7% related to the aperture area.
'The series of world records in the fields of crystalline silicon and CIGS thin-film technologies underscores our quality promise and is proof of our technological top position as a German producer in the solar industry,' said Peter Wawer, Senior Vice President Technology with Q-Cells SE. 'Solar modules based on our new Q.ANTUM cell concept will offer all quality and yield benefits associated with Q-Cells YIELD SECURITY.'
Q-Cells YIELD SECURITY is the company's own seal of quality and combines technological innovations in terms of quality control and yield security. All Q-Cells solar modules have Anti PID technology (APT) and are protected against hot spots thanks to the unique Hot Spot Protect (HSP) quality control. In addition, they are individually marked by means of the Tra.QTM laser signature technology and can be tracked along the entire value chain. Q-Cells YIELD SECURITY bases on higher yields and improved security, ensuring the future profitability of investments in Q-Cells solar production.
The world record-setting polycrystalline solar module of Q-Cells consists of 60 156 x 156 mm² high-performance solar cells, which were produced on the basis of the new Q.ANTUM cell concept. These solar cells are made from 180-µm-thick polycrystalline silicon wafers, which were metallised on the back side and passivated with functional nanolayers in Q-Cells' research centre. This new type of structure for the back side, consisting of dielectric layers combined with local contacts, improves the solar cell's aesthetic and electrical characteristics and significantly boosts output as compared to the previous BSF (back surface field) standard technology. The innovative rear side structure is suitable for a range of silicon qualities and for very thin wafers. This opens up potential for further cost savings in industrial production.
The state of Sachsen-Anhalt and the federal government, among others, provided funds for the development activities.
Source: Q-Cells SE