Ontario, Canada [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI) has signed a joint technology development and transfer agreement with Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN) to apply the technology for metal wrap-through (MWT) cells to CSI’s production lines. MWT cells eliminate the need for front side bus-bars and therefore increase effective surface and the conversion efficiency of a solar cell.
A more advanced version of this technology, emitter wrap-through (EWT) structures, can further eliminate the front surface grid and therefore further increase the cell conversion efficiency. Both of these wrap-through technologies also increase module conversion efficiency by enabling back-side interconnection technology in module production.
The specialized module assembly equipment will be developed by CSI and ECN and manufactured in co-operation with Eurotron, a Netherlands based manufacturer and supplier of handling equipment for module assembly. Higher conversion efficiency cells will allow the Company to produce more powerful solar modules, while potentially reducing manufacturing costs. The transfer of MWT cell technology is expected to take approximately 6 months.
In a related story, during the fourth quarter of 2009, CSI expects to begin commercially introducing a new cell structure which combines a modified selective emitter process, better texturization and screen printing. The new structure is expected to raise the conversion efficiency of monocrystalline cells to 18.5% and multicrystalline cells with an estimated 16.8% conversion efficiency.