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Forging ahead with N-type monocrystalline back contact cells

Pasi Kautonen, Marketing Manager at Valoe Oyj, tells PES about the background and aspirations of this high-tech company. Their focus is on the developing high efficiency solar photovoltaic modules and automated module manufacturing technology.

The company, originally named Cencorp, was founded in 1978. It soon acquired a reputation for innovative automatic robotic solutions for a wide range of industries. By the turn of the century, as a major global supplier of special components mainly for mobile phone industry, the company obtained advanced production and nano material experience in high efficiency laser technology and flexible back contact electrical circuits used for example in antennas inside mobile phones.

By the end of the first decade of the millennium, Valoe moved its future business focus towards the upcoming and growing solar power industry. Through mergers and acquisitions backed by its own know-how of back contact technology Valoe started to implement its strategy to develop more sustainable, yet world leading, high efficiency solar modules and production technology. The company first started to develop and manufacture advanced back contact modules in Finland, which were based on polysilicon and monosilicon solar cells while also concentrating on enhancing automated production technology. In 2018 they launched their advanced and robust dual glass back contact PV module, called Valoe Chrome II.

In 2018 further steps were taken in moving towards the goal of producing world class, most advanced high efficiency IBC (interdigitated back contact) modules. During the first half of 2018 additional advanced manufacturing equipment for IBC cells and modules was acquired. An agreement with well-known ISC-Konstanz in Germany (International Solar Energy Research Center Konstanz) was also reached for transferring ISC’s Zebra IBC (interdigitated back contact) cell technology and to further joint development of future IBC cells.

The most efficient future cell technologies according to the latest ITRPV report (International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics, Ninth Edition 2018) will be based on N-type monocrystalline back contact cells.

Valoe will be introducing its own new IBC back contact cells and modules into market in 2019. The IBC cell has been developed with ISC Konstanz and is based on their Zebra technology. It will be one of the most advanced, high efficiency solar cells commercially available. The front side of the cell reaches as high as up to 23% efficiency of converting suns energy into electricity. It has also been developed to generate electricity from irradiation from the rear side of the cell. This bifaciality factor of the cell can add up to 30% more additional energy, by diffused radiation collected on the back side.

Valoe’s next generation European made N-type monosilicon cell has all the interconnections on the rear side of the cell. The front side of the cell is free of any metallisation leading to an optimized and maximized electricity generation. It also provides the cell and entire module with an almost black, stylish design.

In addition, N-type silicon is immune to harmful degradation effects of LID (light induced degradation) and PID (potential induced degradation) that may severely damage traditional high efficiency or other silicon cells. Furthermore, the low temperature coefficient of this cell maximizes energy yield in high operating temperatures.

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