JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd., one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-performance solar cells and solar power products, announced that it has developed a new high-power multi-crystalline solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 18.2%, representing a significant breakthrough in multi-crystalline silicon solar cell technology.
The new generation solar cell, which was developed by JA Solar's R&D team, utilizes a proprietary new technology dubbed "Maple" that enables significantly enhanced power output from multi-crystalline solar cells. Maple cells feature silicon crystals that are broader, flatter and have fewer grain boundaries than traditional multi-crystalline silicon, resulting in reduced energy wastage and improved conversion efficiency. Though closer to mono-crystalline solar cells in terms of conversion efficiency, Maple cells can be produced using lower-cost multi-crystalline silicon production techniques. As a result, Maple has the potential to be used to produce a more advanced range of high-power solar modules at a low cost-to-performance ratio.
Maple cells have achieved 18.2% conversion efficiency in pilot production under large-volume manufacturing conditions, and the Company intends to commence commercial production in the second half of 2011.
"We are proud to announce this breakthrough in multi-crystalline-silicon solar cell technology, an achievement that clearly demonstrates JA Solar's industry-leading R&D capabilities," said Dr. Peng Fang, CEO of JA Solar. "By bridging the gap between the higher efficiency of mono-crystalline technology and the lower cost of multi-crystalline cells, Maple technology can drive a new generation of high-power solar modules at attractive price points. We are committed to building on this achievement to further improve efficiency and to continuing to develop industry-leading solar cell technology and innovative solar power products in support of our goal of achieving grid-parity."
JA Solar will showcase this new solar cell and related solar module products at the SNEC (2011) PV POWER EXPO, which will take place in Shanghai, China, from February 22 to 24, 2011.