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Solar cells hit 21% conversion in volume manufacture

12 Sep 2012

US developer Silevo ramps high volume production; IEC and UL validation of Triex™ technology

Silevo, Inc. a solar cell innovator and photovoltaic solar module manufacturer, says it has achieved greater than 21 percent conversion efficiency with its Triex™ solar technology at its high volume manufacturing facility. The company, headquartered in Fremont, California, says this level of conversion efficiency in volume production is one of the highest across the solar industry and demonstrates the company’s progression from pilot production to high volume manufacturing.

Silevo’s proprietary Triex technology is a hybrid solar module that goes beyond traditional silicon-based PV to deliver high efficiency and low temperature coefficients at a previously unattainable cost of production. Both of its core brands, Triex R-Series and Triex U-Serie,s have achieved International Electrotechnical Commission and Underwriters Laboratories certification.

With validation in place, Silevo is shipping commercially to its first customers and says it has a strong customer "pipeline" of over 250 MW of agreements in Europe, the United States and China. The significant customer response to Silevo’s initial product entry further validates Silevo’s modules’ lead in lowering Balance of System (BOS) costs with high energy harvest, enabling what it says is "the lowest levelized cost of electricity in the industry".

“We are pleased to commence commercial production of Silevo modules with greater than 21 percent conversion efficiency,” said Zheng Xu, founder and CEO of Silevo. “With a huge reduction in panel prices over the past two years, it’s now time to focus on a technology that can bring significant BOS savings, as well as an increased energy yield. Silevo’s Triex technology is the first offering that couples high efficiency, high yield and scalable, cost-effective production, which will result in the next wave of profitable cost reduction for all players along the photovoltaic value chain.”

Hybrid composition

Silevo’s proprietary Triex technology evolves silicon-based PV as the first hybrid solar solution to combine high-performance crystalline silicon N-type substrates, thin-film passivation layers and a unique tunneling oxide layer—all in a single solar module. Powered by breakthrough tunneling junction architecture, these three materials together enable the Triex module to deliver high efficiency, competitive module costs and optimal energy harvest.

The Triex R-Series module product line is tailored to distributed grid applications in which high power output and small form factor are essentials for cost-effective installation and service. The module measures only 1.28 square meters in size with a power output of 235 watt-peaks per panel, which represents an 18.4 percent total area module efficiency

The Triex U-Series module product line, with powers of 305 W and a form factor of only 1.69 square meters, enables the large-scale commercial segment as well as the ground mount utility space by decreasing the installation costs per module installed.

With the validation of its first 32 MW production line, Silevo is now focused on expanding factory capacity and leveraging economies of scale and purchasing power to meet its high customer demand. The company is on track to have approximately 230 MW of capacity online in 2013.

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org

Edmund OpticsAltechnaNanoscribe GmbHSynopsys, Optical Solutions GroupOmicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbHEKSPLA uabart Photonics GmbH
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