LONGi introduces a thinner, more flexible heterogeneous solar cell with an efficiency of more than 26%

LONGi, in collaboration with Jiangsu University of Science and Technology and Curtin University in Australia, has introduced heterogeneous silicon (HJT) solar cells that are thinner, more flexible and more efficient. His latest research is entitled “Flexible silicon solar cells with high power-to-weight ratios», was published in the journal Nature.

Silicon solar cells are known for their maturity and cost-effectiveness in generating electricity. However, its use in scenarios requiring flexibility or strict weight limits, such as floating solar panels or aerospace applications, has been limited.

The team focused on reducing the thickness of silicon wafers, incorporating the advantages of thin-film solar cells into traditional silicon cells. The company noted that historically, thin silicon solar cells (ranging from 55 µm to 130 µm) have maintained power conversion efficiency (PCE) between 23.27% and 24.70%. Achieving more than 26% progress was a difficult task. Test results show that among five products with thicknesses ranging from 57µm to 125µm, all of them achieved a conversion efficiency greater than 26%, with the highest being 26.81%.

Notably, the 57-micron thick solar cell features a power-to-weight ratio of 1.9 watts per gram and a radius of curvature of 19 mm, exceeding existing products by 2-3 times, certified by the Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin (ISFH).

This progress suggests that silicon solar cells could become a class of thin-film cells with remarkable flexibility. It can undergo different deformations, making it versatile for applications, Longhi said.

This breakthrough provides a practical basis for commercializing flexible, lightweight, highly efficient solar cells. The study suggests that the ability to fold or roll up crystalline silicon solar cells for travel is now within reach, representing an important step forward in solar technology.

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more information: Flexible silicon solar cells with high power-to-weight ratios nature

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