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Huge potential seen for N-type monocrystalline solar cells

22 Nov 2011

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N-type monocrystalline solar cells, which has higher converison efficiencies than conventional P-type multicrystalline, are currently gaining popularity as market demand for such products continues to soar.

At present, solar firms have been trying to increase the efficiency of P-type multicrystalline products, whose maximum conversion efficiency is about 17.4%. On the other hand, P-type monocrystalline silicon wafers are estimated to reach 19% before firms start to face technological difficulties. However, P-type monocrystalline silicon wafers have higher production costs and suffer more power loss during the module phase.

The N-type products do not suffer power loss problems and are able to exceed 20% of conversion efficiency.

China-based Comtech plans to have production of N-type reach one-third of total capacity in 2011 and about half in 2012. The company has been said to secure orders from US-based SunPower.

Another company, Solargiga Energy Holdings, indicated that its production of N-type solar products has already reached 25% of its total capacity in 2011. The manufacturer's conversion efficiency in now at 20 to 23%.

Solargiga noted that China accounted for 34.5% of shipments, while the US accounted for 17.2%. The UK, Japan and Germany markets make up 19.3%, 15.2% and 11.1% of total exports, respectively.

The price of P-type monocrystalline silicon solar wafers has been unaffected so far by the oversupply problem in the market. The price of 6in P-type monocrystalline silicon solar wafer is currently $1.65/unit.

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