Kyocera achieves 16.6% efficiency with polycrystalline solar modules

World record in conversion efficiency

19 February 2010

Kyoto/Neuss, 19 February 2010 − The Japanese technology corporation Kyocera, one of the leading manufacturers in the solar sector, has achieved an efficiency of 16.6 per cent with polycrystalline solar modules. This success is the result of Kyocera’s proprietary back-contact technology.

The efficiency of 16.6 per cent (aperture area*: 17.3 per cent efficiency) has been achieved in polycrystalline modules with 54 solar cells. In order to achieve this result, both the module design and the output of each individual cell were optimized. Back-contact technology involves transferring the current-carrying electrodes from the front to the rear side. This leads to an increase in the aperture area on the front of the module and hence to an improvement in efficiency.
Kyocera’s own energy conversion results already report efficiency levels of 18.5 per cent for polycrystalline solar cells still in the development stage.
The Kyocera Corporation is a front runner in the solar energy market and began to develop solar cells in 1975. Company founder Dr. Kazuo Inamori thus made a fundamental contribution to the solar industry. His achievements included stepping up the pace of series production for polycrystalline silicon. Since then, the company has gathered many years of experience and has established a close link to the solar industry. In its production, Kyocera attaches particular importance to covering the entire value-added chain itself and thus guaranteeing quality and performance of the modules.

*The efficiency of the aperture area is restricted to the inner area of a module, in other words the total cell surface, whereas the module efficiency also includes the frame. Based on measurements by the “National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (Japan). Valid as per: December 2009.


Facts and Figures 

Module efficiency16.6% (total area: 13,379 cm2)
Efficiency (absorption area)17.3% (aperture area: 12,753 cm2)
Number of cells54 (dimensions: 150mm x 155mm)
Cell technologypolycrystalline


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