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Q-Cells Showcases Solar-grade Si Based Cell

by Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Microdevices, Sept 3, 2008
Source: TechOn

Q-Cells AG of Germany exhibited a cell made of solar-grade silicon, a silicon material used only for solar cells, for the first time at the EU PVSEC (23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition). The company aims to put the new solar cell, Q6LEP3, into practical use in 2009 or 2010 with a conversion efficiency of 16%, equivalent to that of the existing cells.

With solar-grade silicon based solar cells, it will be possible to stably supply solar cells at lower prices compared with the existing silicon solar cells. Therefore, the practical application of them has been drawing attention as the last resort to solve the current shortage of silicon materials.  “The new cell will make it possible to supply enough amount of (solar) cells, helping solar cell module manufacturers grow faster,” Q-Cells said.

For the practical use of the new cell, a high cell conversion rate must be achieved with low-purity solar-grade silicon. The dimensions of the exhibited cell is 156 × 156 (±0.5mm). Its thickness is 180μm or 160μm (±30μm). There are three 1.5mm-wide silver bus bars on the surface of the cell.