Over the years, new solar technology has broken a few records including solar energy concentration and solar vehicular speed. However this week, SCHOTT Solar announced that they had broken the record for screen-printed solar cell efficiency, after creating the world’s first monocrystalline screen-printed solar cell with a conversion efficiency of 20.2%.

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Previously the record efficiency generated by a solar cell was 17.6% and was done through the use of multicrystalline solar cells. It is this method that SHOTT Solar’s Dr. Axel Metz, head of solar cell research and development at SCHOTT Solar, acknowledges as the greatest contributing factor for his team’s record.

“We’ve been concentrating on the development of monocrystalline cells since the start of 2011,” he said. “We had three years of experience with the multicrystalline cells to carry over to the monocrystalline concept.”

The team’s initial trials can created cell efficiency of over 19%, but this wasn’t deemed good enough. After working with the Schmid Group from Freudenstadt (and with further funding), the SCHOTT team optimized the cell’s surface with Schmid’s production-established selective emitter technology and their own PERC (Passsivated Emitter and Rear Contacts) technology. With these two solutions, solar efficiency was increased to over 20%.  Their results were confirmed by the Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg, another research institute, who provided an independent measurement.

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Via Solar Server