Is Solar Manufacturing Staring at Another Technology Upgrade?
lubi solar       November 19, 2019
The solar energy market has been very cost-driven and there is no wonder that dependence on high efficient and cost-efficient crystalline technology has been immense. The industry has quickly adopted any crystalline technology that promised higher efficiency and kept the cost of adoption low. The same has been the case with PERC and PERT technology. With bifaciality possible with PERC/PERT technology, the efficiency benchmarks have risen further with panel manufacturers achieving efficiency as high as 23%.
The direct impact has been realized in the Levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), which has breached grid parity shifting the focus on extracting maximum output from the plant to ensure maximum investor returns.
However in this mad rush to achieve output and cost efficiency, the industry may have overlooked the shortcomings of the technology and have a more objective evaluation for long term adoption. With large scale adoption of PERC technology, the industry now stares at the critical Light and elevated Temperature Induced Degradation (LeTID). We may well be staring at a crisis that scales larger than PID.
PERC is a mature technology with relatively simple processes and hence benefits from a low cost of ownership. Record efficiencies have been reached but what counts is conversion efficiency, which may well drop drastically if the effects of LeTID is considered and accounted for. The serious issue here is that the exact reasons of degradation, unlike LID and PID, are yet to be ratified for LeTID making it an even graver issue. The degradation generally noticed on PERC modules has been in a short term and deteriorates the panel even faster that PID.
suar HJT cell contains a silicon crystal sandwiched between two amorphous silicon layers. The monocrystal ensures better light absorption while the amorphous layer ensures superior passivation. The cells are flexible compared to crystalline cells and offer high resistance to micro-cracks. The monocrystal silicon being devoid of boron offers LID resistance. Furthermore, such cells are also found to offer good PID resistance.
So looking at the developments, it is quite natural to wonder if the industry is staring at another big technology upgrade.