Trina Breaks TOPCon PV Cell Efficiency Record! But What’s TOPCon, and Why Should You Know About It?

We’re proud to announce that Trina Solar recently set a new maximum efficiency record of 25.5% for our 210x210mm i-TOPCon solar cell. This achievement marks the 23rd time Trina Solar has set a new world record, and it highlights Trina Solar's unrivaled prowess in pioneering 210mm i-TOPCon cell technology.

To reach this new efficiency level, researchers at Trina Solar’s State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology had to resolve several technical problems that required innovative solutions. In this case, the issues related to highly sophisticated processes involving selective boron emitters, large-area tunneling silicon oxide, doped polysilicon preparation, and high-efficiency hydrogen passivation.

By using mass production cell equipment, the research team increased the maximum efficiency of large 210mm N-type monocrystalline cells up to 25.5%. The National Institute of Metrology of China, a world-leading metrology scientific research center, certified the results.

What this means for the future of the solar industry

As renewable energy adoption enters into a new era of grid parity, EPCs, developers, and IPPs will need to find creative ways to continue improving solar project value. Trina Solar’s breakthrough in PV efficiency using TOPCon technology opens the door to do that. 

For years now, solar panel manufacturers have been deploying passivated emitter rear contact technology, otherwise known as PERC, in PV modules. The method has become widespread because of the higher efficiency gained from PERC technology. Yet PERC cells still have an upper limit to efficiency, impacting potential solar project value.

But, as we can see from Trina Solar’s new efficiency record, the state-of-the-art technique of tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon, for short) can improve the power generation and efficiency level of PERC cells. Even more promising, manufacturers can easily outfit current PERC production lines with TOPCon technology. This ease means switching to TOPCon lowers the capital investment needed to upgrade production lines while producing more powerful and efficient PV modules. The lack of a significant investment bodes well for the solar industry since most other emerging processes for improving PV cell efficiency require substantial investment to build entirely new production lines.

Upscaling to TOPCon solar products offers a new avenue for increasing solar project energy yield without a corresponding uptick in production costs. The extra value should create additional incentives to boost solar power adoption.

Although the PV industry has no standard process flow for TOPCon cell production, many original equipment manufacturers, such as Trina Solar, are paving the way to standardize 210mm N-type i-TOPCon high-efficiency cell projects.

Trina Solar remains committed to conducting cutting-edge PV research and development while also remaining a pioneer in PV technological production and manufacturing by continuously improving solar cell efficiency and building the standardization processes necessary to bring these innovations to the market.

Follow Trina Solar on social media and check back soon to keep up with all the latest advancements in PV technology.

Relevant Topics

Smart Energy Solutions

delivered straight to your inbox