That China is consolidated day by day as a leader in the manufacture of solar panels, is not news. The ranking of the 10 largest suppliers in the world in 2017 leaves no room for doubt. But now progress is going further and extends to the efficiency of these technologies. In this area, the Hanergy company has just hit the table (more like two), by breaking as many efficiency records with its new GaAs and CIGS solar modules.
Headquartered in Beijing, the multinational has raised individual records to 25.1% in the case of conversion efficiency for single junction solar modules. “It is the most efficient that has ever been produced , ” Alta Devices, a subsidiary of the former established in the United States , reaffirms in a statement.
The second record was broken by Hanergy by the German-based company Solibro. In this case, its latest CIGS thin-film solar module (based on copper, indium, gallium and selenium) has scaled up to 18.72% in efficiency. Both this result and the previous one have been accredited by independent German laboratories.
Specialized in this type of technology and with a production capacity of up to 145 MW, Solibro has obtained this result in an area of 1.19 × 189.5 millimeters. “Solibro leaves its competitors behind once again and sets a new record,” says the firm, whose solutions are applied in a multitude of fields, such as commercial or industrial, as well as in areas with very different climatic conditions.
For its part, Alta Devices’ achievement stands out, for the result, but also for the possibilities it opens up with its advance on single junction cells. “As we move towards a world of autonomous machines, the development of energy sources that can be replenished without interruptions is increasingly important,” they point out from Hanergy’s US subsidiary.
The attention to this point is explained, fundamentally, by the potential uses of the new record-breaking GaAs module. Although there are many, among them its ability to provide energy to drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), to electric vehicles in general, as well as to intelligent sensors stands out. For them, Alta Devices emphasizes, to date there was no other option than low efficiency solar solutions.
Now, the paradigm changes with a proposal that was promoted with the objective of “demonstrating a world efficiency record on a commercial scale and mass production” , in the words of Jian Ding, vice president of Hanergy Thin Film and chief executive officer of Alta Devices. In addition, opportunities to apply, it is not that there are, but they will increase. “The uses for these types of thin and flexible solar solutions are expanding and becoming more and more critical . “
While progress continues in this field, the progress signed by Hanergy translates into panels that are twice as efficient as other solutions in the thin-film solar market. In addition, the double record further strengthens China’s role in this industry.