Fraunhofer ISE Achieves 24% Efficiency for TOPCon Solar Cells

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Fraunhofer ISE) have produced a TOPCon (Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact) solar cell in the large-area M10 silicon wafer format, achieving an efficiency of 24%.

The results, which were published at the 20th Photovoltaic Technology Advisory Board Meeting of Fraunhofer ISE, highlighted how advancing photovoltaic (PV) technology by transitioning to the M10 wafer format can align with industry trends towards larger, more efficient solar cells.

The M10 format, with an edge length of 182 mm, is becoming the industry standard due to its cost-effectiveness and enhanced performance. The transition to this format allows Fraunhofer ISE to better support industrial partners in optimizing their production processes.

According to the International Roadmap Photovoltaics published by the VDMA, TOPCon solar cells will have a market share of almost 50 percent by 2024. The institute aims to optimize these cells further to achieve efficiencies exceeding 25% and eventually develop tandem solar cells with efficiencies over 30%.

This goal of achieving over 30% efficiency with tandem solar cells suggests a promising future for solar energy, contributing to higher energy yields and more effective renewable energy solutions.

The findings will also enable Fraunhofer ISE to assist industrial partners in adopting and optimizing new solar cell technologies, fostering innovation and competitiveness in the solar energy sector.

“We are very excited that we can now support our industrial partners in optimizing their production processes with this large-area wafer format or even in newly entering into the production of such solar cells,” says Sabrina Lohmüller, the deputy head of the Silicon and Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cells department.

Last September, researchers from Fraunhofer ISE and NWO-Institute AMOLF developed a multijunction solar cell with an efficiency of 36.1%, surpassing the fundamental efficiency limit of 29.4%.

Earlier this year, another team from Fraunhofer ISE devised a method to reduce wastewater production in solar cell manufacturing.

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