Silevo, Inc., Fremont, California-based solar cell innovator and photovoltaic (PV) solar module manufacturer, announced the industry’s first greater than 350 Watt-peak (Wp) solar module made with 72 of Silevo’s proprietary Triex 156-millimeter (mm) solar cells.
- Triex™ technology based on high-quality N-type Si wafers delivers greater power output, reducing overall system cost
Silevo’s 72-cell Triex solar module measured an output power of 355 Wp in both indoor and outdoor third-party testing by Renewable Energy Test Center (RETC), a TÜV SÜD America’s partner for PV testing. Triex technology, a hybrid solution of proven thin-film and crystalline silicon (c-Si) materials, delivers high efficiency and high energy yield with scalable, cost-effective manufacturing processes.
The Triex 355 Wp module provides more power output per given area, compared to conventional c-Si solar modules, which typically range from 200 Wp to 300 Wp. Silevo’s additional output power significantly reduces the overall cost of a solar system by lowering balance of system (BOS) costs, which account for two-thirds of a conventional system’s cost. With an output of 355 watts, Silevo’s module requires less rooftop space or land, mounting and electrical components are reduced and systems can be built faster and more efficiently, reducing labor costs.
This achievement was made possible by scaling up Silevo’s production-proven Triex solar cell technology to a larger cell substrate of 156mm through R&D work conducted in Fremont, Calif. Today’s production-proven efficiency leaders that produce cells above 20 percent conversion efficiency struggle to scale cell sizes beyond 125mm substrates, due to fundamental limitations of cell architectures and choice of materials. However, 125mm cells create non-standard module form factors that require unique mounting structure and system designs, thereby limiting economies of scale and cost savings. By contrast, Silevo’s hybrid tunneling junction architecture overcomes these limitations to produce greater than 21 percent efficiency on 156mm size substrates. Silevo’s cells can therefore be seamlessly integrated into industry-standard 60- and 72-cell module form factors serving the rooftop and utility-scale market segments.
Silevo’s successful scale-up of Triex cells to 156mm was achieved through a close collaboration with SunEdison (formerly MEMC Electronic Materials), and its high-performance Silvantis family n-type wafers which enabled Silevo to optimize its cell-processing steps to create high-efficiency solar cells that were then packaged into this 355 Wp module.
“We are pleased that our Silvantis™ CCZ wafers have demonstrated higher than 21 percent efficiency for Silevo in their cell process, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with them to further enhance performance,” said Bang Nguyen, vice president and general manager of SunEdison’s solar wafer business. “Our focus at SunEdison is to reduce the levelized cost of energy for our customers, while providing the best products, services and overall value. We do that by leveraging our more than 50 year history of experience and innovation, demonstrated through the combination of our electronic grade polysilicon, wafer manufacturing expertise and our Silvantis CCZ n-type monocrystalline ingot technology that has tight lifetime and resistance control to optimize cell performance.”
Silevo is on track to increase its current production capacity during the first half of 2014 with dedicated 156mm cell lines, which will provide greater than 350 Wp modules in the marketplace.