Mitsubishi Electric Develops Silicon Solar Cell with 18% Conversion Efficiency Rate

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation President and CEO Setsuhiro Shimomura announced today the company’s achievement of a world record photoelectric conversion efficiency rate of 18.0% in a 150mm square practical use multi-crystalline silicon solar cell, an improvement of 1.2% over its previous models.

The company said it achieved this conversion efficiency rate of 18.0% by adding a low reflectivity surface texture on the multi-crystalline silicon as well as developing a process to print electrodes on the surface of the silicon (metallization) and reducing shade loss of front grid electrodes. In the same surface area as previous products, Mitsubishi Electric has achieved a 7% greater electric output, making it suitable for even smaller installations such as narrow roofs.

Main features of cell include increased light absorption using a unique Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) method; it suppresses reduced electrical performance in crystalline; and it expands effective electrical output surface area.

Future developments will include introducing this technology into the company’s mass produced photovoltaic modules after the end of 2007. Pairing this with its power module, which has the industry’s highest energy conversion efficiency, will increase output of solar power systems.

With 10 domestic patents and 10 international patents pending, Mitsubishi Electric plans to present its technology at the Fukuoka 17th International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference in December 2007.

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