JA Solar has had their monocrstyalline (mono) passivated emitter rear cell (PERC) panel certified as the highest efficiency model in the market today. The solar panel’s power output was rated at 326.67W, for a panel level efficiency of 19.97%.
JA Solar’s current monoPERC products for sale max out at approximately 300W.
The solar panel was certified by TUV SUD as officially setting the record. It was not noted when a panel with this level of efficiency might be available for purchase.
JA Solar is one of the world’s largest solar cell manufacturers at 6.5GW of capacity. Their PERC solar cell leadership is showing here, however, leading the game in the very specific “60 cell monoPERC” only gets them so far. They will have a lot of competition when the product actually hits the shelves where efficiency matters more, and product type matters less.
The 365W LG Neon R is the highest efficiency residential solar panel I’ve seen recently announced. The panel finds other tools to get to the 21%+ efficiency numbers like moving all busbars to the back of the panel.
Solaria uses a ‘shingle cell’ (not 60 cells) and the same monoPERC cells as JA Solar to get to 350W per residential panel. SolarTech Universal, along with Meyer Burger, announced a 334W heterojunction solar panel that will be available in 2018.
Of course, SunPower – the long time efficiency leader – has a 22.8% efficiency panel available if you’re the most demanding of customers.
A PERC solar cell’s main efficiency benefit comes from the additional ‘passivated layer’ that is added to the backside of the solar cell along with additional ‘etching’ done to the bottom of the solar cell. These two changes allow the backside of the solar cell to absorb photons as they bounce inside of the solar panel. This technological advance has been embraced by the solar panel manufacturing community because it has allowed a healthy bump in efficiency, while only ‘costing’ two additional machines/processes in the solar cell production process.
JA Solar is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers globally – and possibly the largest solar cell manufacturer (for now) with 6.5GW of annual capacity. Last year, they delivered 5.2GW of solar panels, and have delivered 5GW of solar panels through, and including, the 3rd quarter of 2017.
In the press release, JA Solar shares a reminder that they were the first to break 20% with industrial produced PERC solar cells in 2013. They also note they’ve got a patent on bifacial PERC cells in China – expect that product in the near future.
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