Meyer Burger achieves record 303 watt solar module in production conditions

At 303 watts, Meyer Burger has set a new photovoltaic record using a standard 60-cell solar module. A high level of process integration between the wafer, cell and module technologies made this developmental leap possible which will result significant reductions in production costs. The increased energy yield was achieved through the combination of innovative heterojunction cells with 21% efficiency and a very low temperature coefficient and with the revolutionary “SmartWire Connection” technology. The SGS Fresenius Institute has already IEC certified heterojunction modules with this new connection technology.

The record performance of the heterojunction (HJT) technology on 156x156mm pseudo square cells is the result of the close cooperation between the Meyer Burger Technology Ltd (SIX Swiss Exchange: MBTN) research centres in Germany and Switzerland. The high efficiency heterojunction solar cells were manufactured on the industrial facilities at the Roth & Rau solar technology centre under production conditions. They were then electrically connected using innovative soldering techniques at the Somont technology and competence centre. The high-efficiency modules were laminated with the durable and proven encapsulation technology from 3S Modultec. Roth & Rau, Somont and 3S Modultec are leaders in cell and module technology and are all members of the Meyer Burger Technology Group.

Lower temperature coefficient reaches thin film standards

Heterojunction cells have an extraordinarily good temperature coefficient with a value of just -0.18%/°C. This is another excellent record figure. Compared to standard cells which have a value of -0.43%/°C, a solar module with HJT cells from the Meyer Burger Group can achieve 10% more energy yield on average than regular cells.

This results in a significant competitive advantage both for cell and module manufacturers and for end customers.

Diamond wire cut wafers as base substrate

For its HJT technology Meyer Burger is using a newly developed cutting process for the manufacture of the wafers which is opening new perspectives and expanding the potential to further reduce costs in all processes from wafers to cells to modules. Complemented by new measuring and material management technologies, process and fab control software is providing new and progressive manufacturing workflows which will change the market.

HJT measurement technology

High electrical cell capacity is a characteristic of high efficiency cells. As a result, conventional sun simulators cannot be used to measure the performance of the new generation of cells. Pasan’s DragonBack technology represents a completely new measurement method which can perform the extremely precise measurements required at the speed of line production to measure the performance of high efficiency and high capacity cells such as those produced using heterojunction technology. This new method of performance measurement puts Meyer Burger in possession of a further leading edge technology.

New connecting technologies

Innovative soldering technologies such as the trend-setting 5 busbar connection technology from Somont increase the performance of solar cells compared to those cells with only 3 busbars and offer a further advancement of Somont’s proven, mature Certus platform. Meyer Burger is also the only company in the world which offers the “SmartWire Connection” electrification technology for solar cells; a technology which has been proven in PV installations. The soldering process for this technology is carried out within the laminator. On traditional cells, the “SmartWire Connection” technology, with its lower series resistance, can increase performance by more than 1% absolute or by 7% relative. The revolutionary contact technology also considerably decreases the silver quantity required which can further significantly reduce the cost of production. The SGS Fresenius IEC Institute has certified heterojunction modules using this new connection technology and Meyer Burger’s laboratories have carried out multiple successful climate tests which comply with the certification.

High potential for cost reduction.
The record setting module is made up of 60 Cz-Si pseudo square 156mm2 cells with a performance efficiency of 21%. The Meyer Burger roadmap plans further increases in performance efficiency of up to 24% as well as a reduction in manufacturing costs for cells to under 0.10$/Wp by 2014. Further cost reductions can be achieved through the use of thinner wafers which heterojunction technology, in comparison to conventional technologies, can process without any loss of efficiency. Meyer Burger’s diamond wire saws can cut these thin wafers while achieving savings in materials and costs.

With its future oriented innovative technology, Meyer Burger provides the only correct response to the current situation in the photovoltaic market. As a system integrator from wafer to PV module, Meyer Burger is able to select and implement the optimal configuration for its customers from its product portfolio. Only in this way is it possible to combine the advantages of the individual production steps, to increase the overall performance of cells and modules and to achieve a sustainable reduction in the cost of solar energy.

The high efficiency modules with the differing connection technologies will be shown at the Meyer Burger stand (Hall 3, E2) at the upcoming EUPVSEC from 25 – 28th September in Frankfurt.

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Solar Media