Solar PV technology trends: Advances in the solar cell technology
The use of solar energy has increased significantly in the past decade. This growth has been fueled by technological advancements, which have made solar energy more efficient and affordable. In this article, we will explore how technological changes in large modules, interconnections, bifacial, and cell technology are driving the global solar market.
According to a report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the global solar market has witnessed significant growth in recent years. In 2020, the total installed capacity of solar energy reached 773 GW, with an estimated growth rate of 20% per year. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for renewable energy sources, technological advancements, and supportive government policies.
One of the technological advancements that have driven the growth of the solar market is the development of large modules. These modules, also known as photovoltaic (PV) modules, have a larger surface area than traditional modules, allowing them to capture more sunlight and generate more electricity. Additionally, large modules reduce the number of components needed for installation, leading to lower installation costs and faster installation times. This technology has led to an increase in the efficiency of solar panels and a reduction in the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for solar energy.
Another technological change that has driven the solar market is the development of interconnections. Interconnections refer to the connection of multiple solar panels to form a single system. This technology allows for more efficient power generation by improving the reliability and performance of the solar energy system. Interconnections also reduce the cost of solar installations by reducing the number of components needed for installation and increasing the efficiency of the system.
Bifacial solar modules are another technological advancement that has driven the growth of the solar market. Bifacial modules can capture sunlight from both sides, allowing them to generate more electricity than traditional modules. This technology has led to an increase in the efficiency of solar panels and a reduction in the LCOE for solar energy. Bifacial modules also have a longer lifespan than traditional modules, reducing the maintenance costs of solar installations.
Finally, advances in cell technology have also driven the solar market. Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, and improvements in cell technology have increased the efficiency of solar panels. In recent years, the development of PERC (passivated emitter and rear cell) technology has significantly increased the efficiency of solar cells, leading to a reduction in the LCOE for solar energy. PERC technology allows for more efficient electron capture and reduces energy loss, leading to a higher conversion rate of sunlight into electricity.
|Solar Cell Technology||Advances||Potential Benefits|
|PERC||Introduction and optimization of passivation layers; improved screen printing techniques; use of low-resistivity, high-purity wafers||Higher efficiency, lower manufacturing costs|
|SHJ||Introduction of n-type materials, tandem cell technology, and selective contacts; optimization of surface passivation quality||Higher efficiency, improved bifaciality|
|TOPCon||Introduction of tunnel-oxide passivating contacts; improvement in dopant diffusion control||Higher efficiency, improved bifaciality|
|Bifacial||Introduction of bifacial cell technology and use of transparent backsheets||Improved energy yield, higher power output|
|Tandem Cells||Development and optimization of multijunction and perovskite-silicon tandem cell technology||Higher efficiency, lower manufacturing costs|
|Thin Film||Introduction of new materials and deposition techniques, such as CIGS and CdTe||Lower manufacturing costs, flexibility in module design|
|Heterojunction||Use of thin layers of amorphous silicon and other materials; optimization of interfacial layers||Higher efficiency, improved durability|
|Passivated Emitter||Optimization of passivation layers and emitter designs||Higher efficiency, lower manufacturing costs|
In conclusion, technological changes in large modules, interconnections, bifacial, and cell technology have driven the growth of the global solar market. These advancements have led to an increase in the efficiency of solar panels, a reduction in the LCOE for solar energy, and a decrease in the cost of solar installations. As the demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow, the solar market is expected to continue to expand, driven by further technological advancements and supportive government policies.