Cells and modules: Constant competition for more efficiency

Solar energy can only succeed if the technology of solar cells is constantly improved.

This guarantees a future-oriented, fast growing solar industry and the consolidation of solar energy’s pole position as the cheapest electricity generation technology. A technological shift is underway, moving away from PERC cells (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cells) to TOPCon cells.

TOPCon stands for Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact, the cells have an ultra-thin silicon oxide (SiOx) layer, are more efficient, less prone to degradation, and still effective at low levels of sunlight.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE forecasts that, within the next two years, TOPCon cells will dominate the market with a share of almost 40 percent. TOPCon cells currently achieve efficiencies of up to 26.89 percent.

The introduction of silicon-based tandem solar cells with two different semiconductors is eagerly awaited – and with it the industrial use of perovskite. Perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells promise efficiencies of over 30 percent – manufacturer LONGi even achieved a record 33.9 percent in the lab.

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