The P-to-N node has arrived, and the curtain of the photovoltaic revolution has begun (part one)

Efficiency, yield, cost, and N-type solar panel cells have more room for improving efficiency and reducing costs; the recent soaring raw materials will accelerate the transition to N-type, and the key time for the P-type production line to switch to N-type solar panel cells has arrived.

Why do N-type?

First of all, why do you want to make N-type, the trend of component evolution and development, in short, is nothing more than the climb of power, and the tracing of the root is directly linked to the efficiency of the cell. At present, the 23.38% conversion efficiency of monocrystalline PERC cells has gradually approached its own efficiency limit (24.5%). On this basis, major power breakthroughs can only be made from the cell size and module layout. This will undoubtedly This puts huge pressure on the operation and maintenance costs and the compatibility of the bracket inverter. The efficiency limit of the N-type TOPCon solar module cell is much higher than that of the PERC solar module cell (28.2%~28.7%). In addition to high conversion efficiency, N-type solar panel cells also have the advantages of high double-sided rate, low temperature coefficient, no light attenuation, good weak light effect, and longer carrier life. In the long run, it has an absolute cost-effective advantage. It can be said that the rise of N-type technology is an inevitable trend in the future.

Currently, N-type solar module cell technologies mainly include TOPCon, HJT and IBC. Recently, during the second “Belt and Road” Energy Ministers’ Meeting, in the topic of “How the Next Generation of Leading Photovoltaic Technology Can Promote the Energy Transition of the Belt and Road”, experts have done the three processes from multiple perspectives such as efficiency, cost and craftsmanship. Comparisons:

1) From the perspective of efficiency, the theoretical limit efficiency of TOPCon solar module cell reaches 28.7%, which is higher than 27.5% of HJT and 24.5% of PERC. From the current mass production efficiency, the latest TOPCon world record efficiency reached 25.4%, and the mass production line efficiency exceeded 24%. Even so, there is still a certain gap from the limit efficiency, and there is still a lot of room for efficiency improvement;

2) From a process point of view, both TOPCon and HJT achieve power enhancement through passivation, but the former is through the tunneling oxide layer, and HJT is through the deposition of amorphous silicon thin films. TOPCon needs to increase the diffusion, etching and deposition equipment transformation on the PERC production line, and the cost increase is small; while the HJT solar module cell process is the simplest and the steps are the fewest (core process 4 to 7 steps), but basically all the PERC production lines are replaced.

3) From a cost point of view, the direct result of different processes is an increase in equipment cost of 240 to 400 million yuan/GW. The gap in silver paste consumption, based on current data, the silver paste consumption of HJT solar panel cells is about twice that of TOPCon, and this rate will not be leveled out in the short term. The difference in process results in the difference in commercialization costs between the two (about 0.3 RMB/W). As the cost of silver paste rises, the difference may be more than RMB 0.3/W.