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10-13-2010, SCHOTT North America

SCHOTT Solar PV, Inc. Produces World’s Highest Multicrystalline Module Efficiency Of 17.6% With High-Performance Cells And Innovative Manufacturing

October 13, 2010 (At Solar Power International 2010 in Los Angeles, Booth 3819) — SCHOTT Solar has developed a new manufacturing technique to produce high-performance multicrystalline solar cells on a large-scale basis. The company’s innovative approach increases performance during the manufacturing stage to deliver an unprecedented module efficiency of 17.6% for the new SCHOTT Solar Champion multicrystalline module.

“The photovoltaics industry is pursuing two approaches to reduce costs – improve the production process and increase cell efficiency,” said Gerry Fine, chief executive officer of SCHOTT North America. “SCHOTT has a track record of consistently leading the industry in the area of production processes. Now, thanks to this innovative approach to manufacturing of high-performance cells and modules, we also rank among the leaders when it comes to achieving higher efficiency.”

SCHOTT Solar’s research and development team combined proven production technology with a novel approach to develop the high efficiency cell with 18.2% efficiency. The new cell features a standard front side and passivated backside of different dielectric layers with local contacts, also known as a PERC structure. The team used conventional screen-printing technology to create contacts thereby combining new manufacturing steps with a mature and cost-efficient production process.

Starting with record high efficiency multicrystalline cells, SCHOTT Solar then reduced both the optical and electrical losses that typically occur during assembly of solar cells into modules. Ultimately, by optimizing manufacturing processes both at the cell and the module level, SCHOTT successfully achieved the record multicrystalline module surface efficiency of 17.6 %. The efficiency has been independently confirmed by ESTI (European Solar Test Installation).

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