TOPCon technology will continue to be used in next-generation PV products

says Fraunhofer ISE’s Stefan W. Glunz

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Trina Solar

Trina Solar’s TOPCon is playing an important role in the process of industrial transfer, says Professor Stefan W. Glunz of Fraunhofer ISE, the largest solar research institute in Europe. He made the comment in an address themed “TOPCon — FROM LAB TO INDUSTRY” at the 700W+ TOPCon module conference that Trina Solar organized in December 2023. Trina Solar, with five other leading manufacturers, unveiled the 700W+ PV Open Innovation Ecological Alliance at this conference. “I would like to congratulate Trina Solar for its fantastic achievements,” Glunz said.

Expressing optimism over the technology’s development, Glunz said TOPCon cells had led TOPCon technology from the laboratory to industrialization. He forecasted that the TOPCon technology, besides heterojunction cells, would continue to be used in the next generation of products. Glunz noted that the implementation of tandem technology, which is expected to improve cell efficiency considerably, will be based on passivating contact technology such as TOPCon. Fraunhofer ISE introduced the concept of Tunnel Oxide Passivating Contact (TOPCon) cell technology in 2013. TOPCon laboratory cells achieved an efficiency of 26% in 2021.

Trina Solar leads the way in the industrial application of TOPCon PV technology

Trina Solar redesigned the laboratory TOPCon cell structure, and the company introduced both sides-contacted TOPCon solar cells and optimized technological process flow, further promoting TOPCon cell technology from the laboratory to industrialization. The company named it TOPCon, a term also adopted by the head of the Photovoltaic division of Fraunhofer ISE in his overview paper on TOPCon. TOPCon has since become an exclusive label of Trina Solar.

TOPCon technology keeps leading in next-generation PV products

“The achievements of TOPCon technology have laid a foundation for the industry’s development,” Glunz told attendees. The efficiency of industrial TOPCon cells has exceeded 25%, an encouraging result, he said. TOPCon cell efficiency is expected to achieve even greater breakthroughs by implementing passivating front contact cell technology and tandem technology.

Trina Solar continues to innovate in its mainstream n-type TOPCon technology and products. As Yifeng Chen, Trina Solar technical leader and associate vice president of technology, said the efficiency of TOPCon cells is expected to exceed 27% in mass production with the application of front-side full passivation contact cell technology. Furthermore, the efficiency of tandem technology based on TOPCon bottom cells is forecast to surpass 30%.

The upgrade and maturity of TOPCon technology have accelerated the industrialization of n-type products, propelling the industry into a higher power era of 700W+.

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