Multicrystalline PV Modules achieve 19.5% Efficiency

June 19, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd. has achieved a world-record-breaking multicrystalline solar module efficiency. The independent Fraunhofer ISE CalLab confirmed the record module efficiency rating of 19.5% in relation to the aperture area and a power output of 301 watts. The efficiency record has been published in the widely referenced Efficiency Tables of the renowned scientific journal "Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications" in June 2016.

It is the first time in PV history that a multicrystalline solar module with a standard size of 1670 x 1000 mm(2) breaks the 300-Watt barrier. The world-record module uses the company's proprietary Q.ANTUM technology based on rear side passivation of the solar cell and utilizing additional module technology features to optimize the efficiency and performance of PV cells and reduce the LCOE ("levelized cost of electricity") of solar energy. The latest world-record underlines Hanwha Q CELLS' technology leadership in advanced cell and module development.

The record breaking prototype contains high-efficiency multicrystalline Q.ANTUM solar cells with four bus bars produced on the pilot line of the company's Center for Technology Innovation and Quality in Thalheim, Germany. The cells and the module were produced with standard processes on industrial mass-scale production equipment.

Base material for the high-efficiency Q.ANTUM solar cells are cost-efficient multicrystalline silicon wafers. The module size is equal to Hanwha Q CELLS' current 60 cell product lines (1670 x 1000 mm(2)) and it used the standard module components that are identical to what are currently being used in Company's mass-scale commercial production lines.

Jörg Müller, Director of R&D Cells at Hanwha Q CELLS said: "The industry has been trying hard to push the efficiency and power output of multicrystalline solar cells and modules. We have been extremely confident that the know-how and experience from inventing, developing and commercializing Q.ANTUM technology would give us the decisive competitive edge. Now we are very proud to be the first PV company to present a 19.5% solar module efficiency based on multicrystalline cells. Up until now, such values were only reached using monocrystalline silicon and complex processing."

Daniel Jeong, Head of Global R&D at Hanwha Q CELLS commented: "Hanwha Q CELLS produces Q.ANTUM-based high efficiency products in large scales from our state of the art international production facilities with a production track record of over 1.5 GW since 2012." He also added: "The new world-record prototype clearly points the way, as to where Q.ANTUM can bring performance and efficiency of commercial multicrystalline PV modules in the near future."