Solar panel design incorporates two technical innovations: heterojunction cells and bifacial cells

In heterojunction PV cells the n-type region and the p-type region have different band gaps as distinguished from the more common homojunction cells in which both regions have the same band gap. Typically heterojunction cells are formed by thin layers of amorphous silicon deposited on top of crystalline silicon. For reasons which lie beyond my grasp of solar cell physics heterojunction cells can achieve higher efficiency (current record = 26.6%) than homojunction cells.

Recently PV module manufacturer Jinneng Clean Energy Technology (Jinergy) has announced that it will start mass production of hetorojunction solar cells based on N-type monocrystalline substrates. The cells will include the additional technical innovaton of putting a P/N junction on the backside of the cell which allows energy havesting from reflected light, thus increasing the effective cell efficiency by 8 to 20% depending on the details of the solar panel installation and the optical properties of the background materials on the site where the solar panels are installed.

These are the types of innovations which are making it very difficult for any altenative solar energy harvesting technology to displace crystalline silicon from its dominat position in the market.

Aug 10, 2017

rogerkb at energystoragenews dot com