REC achieves +20% efficiency for mass production of multicrystalline solar cells

REC Group, the Norway-based solar developer, has achieved what it calls a “milestone efficiency” for its multicrystalline solar cells, stating that it can now mass-produce cells at average efficiencies of 20.21%.

Although currently only measured and verified by an in-house tester with an external calibration cell, REC claims to be the first known manufacturer to achieve such high cell efficiencies on a multicrystalline platform for industrial-scale production.

The formula has introduced incremental production improvements at every step, from silicon to cell production, and can be replicated at mass scale. The best cell measurement was 20.47% efficiency, with the average of 20.21% the highest in the industry.

According to REC, the new production process will be introduced next month at the firm’s integrated fab in Singapore.

“REC continuously strives to develop new products and processes that provide customers with high quality, high power, and high value solar panels,” said Steve O’Neil, REC CEO. “This great achievement is a strong testament to our R&D efforts at each step in the value chain.”

REC earlier this year invested around $200 million in developing its production and R&D facilities in Singapore, a move designed to ramp up the production of its TwinPeak solar modules to 1.3 GW via more automation and improved efficiencies.

“Panels with REC TwinPeak technologies already boasted leading efficiencies in their class,” continued O’Neil. “These latest, even higher efficiency values will create new generations of premium quality REC products that deliver the greatest value to our customers worldwide.”

In June, South Korean solar producer Hanwha Q Cells pushed the efficiency boundaries for multicrystalline solar modules to 19.5% conversion efficiency – a record based on a prototype Q.ANTUM solar cell made with four busbars.

Using PERC technology, in July Trina Solar achieved industrial-scale multicrystalline efficiencies of 20.16% for its multi-PERC cell, and REC’s latest breakthrough raises the bar that little bit higher.