Kyocera Achieves 16.6% Efficiency with Polycrystalline Solar Modules

The efficiency of 16.6 per cent (aperture area*: 17.3 per cent efficiency) has been achieved in polycrystalline photovoltaic modules with 54 solar cells. In order to achieve this result, both the module design and the output of each individual cell were optimized. Back-contact technology involves transferring the current-carrying electrodes from the front to the rear side. This leads to an increase in the aperture area on the front of the module and hence to an improvement in efficiency.

Kyocera’s own energy conversion results already report efficiency levels of 18.5 per cent for polycrystalline solar cells still in the development stage.

The Kyocera Corporation is a front runner in the solar energy market and began to develop solar cells in 1975. Company founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori thus made a fundamental contribution to the solar industry. His achievements included stepping up the pace of series production for polycrystalline silicon. Since then, the company has gathered many years of experience and has established a close link to the solar industry. In its production, Kyocera attaches particular importance to covering the entire value-added chain itself and thus guaranteeing quality and performance of the modules.

*The efficiency of the aperture area is restricted to the inner area of a module, in other words the total cell surface, whereas the module efficiency also includes the frame. Based on measurements by the “National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (Japan). Valid as per: December 2009.

Facts and Figures

Module efficiency 16.6%@(total area: 13,379 cm2)
Efficiency (absorption area) 17.3%@(aperture area: 12,753 cm2)
Number of cells 54 (dimensions: 150mm x 155mm)
Cell technology polycrystalline

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, the Kyocera Corporation is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fine ceramic components for the technology industry. The strategically important divisions in the Kyocera Group, which comprises more than 200 subsidiaries (April 1st, 2009), are information and communications technologies, products to increase the quality of life, and environmentally friendly products. The technology group is also one of the largest producers of solar energy systems worldwide.

With a workforce of about 60.000 employees, Kyocera posted net sales of approximately €8.68 billion in fiscal year 2008/2009. The products marketed by the company in Europe include laser printers, digital copying systems, microelectronic components, fineceramic products and complete solar systems. The corporation has two independent companies in the Federal Republic of Germany: the Kyocera Fineceramics GmbH in Neuss and Esslingen and the Kyocera Mita Deutschland GmbH in Meerbusch.

The company also takes a lively interest in cultural affairs. The Kyoto Prize, one of the most prominent international awards, is presented each year by the Inamori Foundation, once established by Kyocera founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori, to individuals and groups worldwide for their outstanding human achievement (converted at present €400.000 per prize category).