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KYOCERA Achieves World Record Conversion Efficiency for Multicrystalline Solar Modules

Proprietary “Back Contact” technology used to improve energy efficiency

February 12, 2010

Kyocera Corporation (President: Tetsuo Kuba) today announced that it has achieved a new world record of 16.6% module efficiency (aperture-area efficiency of 17.3%)* for multicrystalline silicon solar modules using 54 cells in the development stage. To achieve this record, Kyocera further improved its proprietary “Back Contact” technology and module design to optimize the performance of each cell, thus increasing overall energy conversion efficiency. Kyocera, which possesses a fully-integrated production system — from processing raw silicon material to manufacturing cells and modules — continually advances its technology to yield higher energy efficiency from its solar cells and modules.

Kyocera’s Back Contact technology moves electrode wiring that is typically arranged on the surface of the cell to the back side, thus increasing the light capturing surface area to maximize energy conversion efficiency. Kyocera has achieved an energy conversion efficiency of 18.5% for individual solar cells in the development stage.

Since starting its solar energy business in 1975, Kyocera has made continuous advancements in solar technology in order to help deliver the blessings of the sun to the world. Constantly seeking ways to enhance its solar cell manufacturing, Kyocera has enlarged the cell size to increase the energy yield per cell, and minimized the thickness of cells to decrease the amount of raw material required.

Specifications of Back Contact Module

Module efficiency

16.6% (total area 13,379 cm²)

Conversion efficiency
(aperture area)

17.3% (aperture area 12,753 cm²)

Number of cells

54 solar cells (cell size: 150mm x 155mm)

Type of cell

Multicrystalline photovoltaic cells

*Aperture-area efficiency is limited to the inner surface area of a module where the cells are arranged, whereas, module efficiency includes the framing area of the module. Based on research by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (Japan), current as of December 2009.