Major metallization paste producer Heraeus Photovoltaics said it had recently helped a customer achieve a validated world record in PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) conversion efficiencies as strategic investments in R&D and staffing in Asia had been validated.

Heraeus said that the most recent China-based PV manufacturer to report a third party verified P-type mono PERC based module with a conversion efficiency of 20.41%, was a customer.

The company highlighted that in 2017, Heraeus pastes enabled two separate customers in four different instances to also achieve world records in PERC efficiency for their cells, which were all verified by accredited third-party testing houses.

In Oct 2017, Fraunhofer ISE CalLab certified a photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 22.71% on a monocrystalline PERC cell made using front side metallization paste from Heraeus. In the same month the Chinese Academy of Solar Sciences’ Photovoltaic and Wind Power System Quality Test Center certified 22.04% and 22.78% conversion efficiency record on P-type polycrystalline PERC and P-type monocrystalline PERC solar cells, again made using Heraeus metallization paste

In the following month, Heraeua noted that the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Photovoltaic and Wind Power System Quality Test Center verified a world record cell efficiency milestone of 23.45% in a monocrystalline PERC cell that deployed Heraeus’ front side metallization pastes.

Dr. Weiming Zhang, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Heraeus Photovoltaics, noted: “For our customers who want to be market leaders, we do not believe in an off-the-shelf approach. That’s why our investments in scientists, technical experts and services [are] paying dividends for them. The paste is just the first step. We’re helping them identify and eliminate technical bottlenecks in their processes. Most importantly, we help them quickly transfer lab efficiency records in the lab to high-volume manufacturing environments.”

Heraeus noted that it had established a new ‘Cell Optimization Service’ enabling the company to expand and enhance its high performance screen printed front and rear silver pastes. The program, which was launched in April 2017, provides clients with a complete solar cell analysis, simulation and process optimization. Customers use these services to identify and implement optimal processes for the customer’s specific production and machine conditions, according to the company.

The company has also enhanced its R&D team in China and other key regions in Asia with the hiring of over 120 scientists and solar energy technical experts in 2017.

The additional workforce enabled Heraeus to establish R&D clusters close to customers located in China and other key markets in Asia. This enabled closer technical collaboration with customers, enabling them to accelerate their R&D and production speed-to-market.

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