1366 Technologies says its wafers allow 18% cell efficiency
Nov 3, 2014 - US solar firm 1366 Technologies on Thursday said that its wafers now allow solar cell makers to reach efficiencies of 18% and noted that its Direct Wafer technology also eliminates the “low efficiency tail” effect.
The company explained that customers using its 156-mm multi-crystalline wafers in combination with passivated emitter rear contact cells (PERC) have hit 18% efficiency. In trials without PERC, the result is 17.5%.
As part of 1366 Technologies’ repeatable process each wafer is grown one-at-a-time, under controlled conditions, so as to reduce variations in quality and cut the “low efficiency tail” effect. Direct Wafer forms multi-crystalline wafers directly from molten silicon so it makes “a uniformly better wafer”, the company says.
Already, 1366 Technologies has hit a wafer production rate enabling over 5 MW per year for one furnace. This is similar to the output of standard ingot casting furnaces, but requires half the space. The company expects to have three “copy exact” furnaces online in the first quarter of 2015, while its goal is to build a 250-MW wafer factory.