Photovoltaic Solar Energy: Photovoltech achieves 17,3% cell efficiency on multicrystalline silicon Back Contact MWT cells

Tienen, Belgium, (PresseBox) - Photovoltech has manufactured its patented Metallization Wrap Through (MWT) solar cells on a project by project basis since 2004. These projects have been primarily buildingintegrated photovoltaic (BIPV) applications where the high aesthetic quality of MWT cells plays an essential role. Over the past several months, a large number of Photovoltech's customers have shown increasing interest in MWT cells.

Since the beginning of this year Photovoltech has increased and accelerated its R&D efforts on this subject. These efforts have produced a significant increase in efficiency resulting from process optimization, selection of new processing materials, and a major redesign of the cell structure. The average efficiency of multicrystalline silicon MWT cells fabricated in Photovoltech's pilot production line now surpasses 17%, with top cell efficiencies of 17,3% measured using an Fraunhofer ISEcalibrated cell as reference. Further improvements are expected in the coming months.

This result is an important milestone in Photovoltech's MWT development program, which targets the potential setup of a new production line specifically dedicated to the fabrication of these MWT cells. Photovoltech believes that introducing MWT cells on the PV market will play an important role in improving and differentiating its product from the existing industry standard cell design.

In parallel with the cell process development, Photovoltech is engaged in a number of collaboration projects aimed at costeffective tabbing and stringing methods for these MWT cells. The first modules based on some of these new connection methods will be presented at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition in Valencia, Spain in September 2010.

Photovoltech NV

Photovoltech, manufacturer of multicrystalline silicon solar cells, was created in December 2001. As a spinoff of IMEC1, Photovoltech has a variety of innovative technologies at its disposal.

Photovoltech currently has a yearly production capacity of 80 MWp2. In August 2010 a new factory building will be ready to start up the first new production line. This expansion will increase the total yearly capacity to 150 - 160 MWp. The new factory building will have a total surface of 26.500 m² divided into 3 floors. Together with the present capacity in the other buildings, Photovoltech will be able to host over time a total production capacity up to more than 500 MWp per year.

1. IMEC: Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center, Europe's leading independent research center in the field of microelectronics.

2. MWp: A megawattpeak is equivalent to one million peak watts. The peak watt is the unit used to measure the standardized power output of a photovoltaic cell. It corresponds to one watt of electrical power under standard test conditions.

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