Panasonic Corp. is the latest module manufacturer to break the efficiency record. The company reports it has achieved a photovoltaic module conversion efficiency* of 23.8 percent** (aperture area***: 11,562 cm2) at research level, a major increase over the previous world record for crystalline silicon-based PV modules.
The previous record for the conversion efficiency of a crystalline silicon-based photovoltaic module was 22.8 percent****. Panasonic has broken the record for the world highest conversion efficiency by a full percentage point. Panasonic had announced a world’s highest conversion efficiency of 25.6 percent***** in its silicon heterojunction cells in April 2014. With this achievement, Panasonic holds the world records of conversion efficiency for both crystalline silicon-based solar cells and modules.
Panasonic developed a unique silicon heterojunction structure (Technology for junction formation required for solar cells that covers the silicon base surface with an amorphous silicon layer. This technology has the key feature of superior passivation to compensate for the many flaws around the silicon base surface area) composed of crystalline silicon substrate and amorphous silicon layers, and has continuously improved its photovoltaic module HIT using silicon heterojunction since the start of commercial production. This new record was achieved by further development of Panasonic’s proprietary heterojunction technology for high-efficiency solar cells and modules adopting a back-contact solar cell structure (Technology for eliminating the shadow loss on the front side electrode with the electrodes on the back of the solar cell, which allows the more efficient utilization of sunlight).
Going forward, Panasonic will continue to pursue technology development of its photovoltaic module HIT, aimed at realizing higher efficiency, higher reliability and lower costs, and will work towards mass production.
If you are new to this whole Panasonic HIT module world, definitely check out the video below for more information.
* According to research by Panasonic as of Feb. 18, 2016, for crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules.
** Result of evaluations at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (of Japan).
*** The module area is the aperture area opened by the masks (11,562 cm2).
**** SunPower November, 2015. Judged from the “Solar cell efficiency tables (version 47)” [Prog. Photovolt: Res. Appl. 2016; 24:3-11]
— Solar Builder magazine