Yingli, Dutch partners make move to mass production of IBC n-type cells
Author: Carl Milner. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.
China's Yingli Green Energy Holding Co Ltd (NYSE:YGE) has produced interdigitated back contact (IBC) n-type solar cells at an industrial pilot line using technology by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and Tempress Systems BV.
The partners aim to reach 22% efficiency for the photovoltaic (PV) cells by the end of the year. The development and production of commercial modules is planned for 2018.
The trio bet on Yingli's PANDA process for the low-cost production of conventional n-type solar cells (n-PERT), and adapted it for IBC-type cells using a screen printing technology for patterning and metallisation. Pilot production on 6-inch wafers started in three months.
The ECN Industry Research Program (IRP) aims to bring the simplified IBC technology to 23% in three years. The project with Yingli showed IRP partners can start pilot production in a few months, said ECN researcher Ilkay Cesar. It also proves commercial production of efficient IBC cells is feasible on short term.
“The pilot line now provides IBC cells in sufficient quantities to enable efficient back-contact module development which will boost the Dutch and EU PV tool and material supplier industry,” Cesar added.