Kyocera Achieves New World Record in Solar Cell Efficiency
October 16, 2006 - Kyocera announced today that it has achieved a new world record of 18.5% energy conversion efficiency for a 15cm x 15cm multicrystalline silicon solar cell.
The achievement represents the latest in a series of advances by Kyocera, which in 1985 became the first manufacturer to commercialize multicrystalline silicon solar cell technology. Prior records for energy conversion efficiency in multicrystalline cells of this size were also set by Kyocera, including 14.5% in 1989, 17.1% in 1996, and 17.7% in 2004.
Kyocera’s other recent efficiency benchmarks were achieved both by optimizing the cell’s grid-line configuration and by texturing the cell’s surface using the company’s proprietary “d.Blue” process, which maximizes sunlight collection by reducing reflectivity. The latest improvement is the result of increasing the amount of light intercepted by the cell by moving the front contacts to the back of the cell.
“The new world record in energy conversion efficiency that Kyocera announces today demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement,” said Steve Hill, President of Kyocera Solar, Inc. “We are pleased that our team has achieved this milestone and we look forward to putting this technological achievement into mass production.”
Kyocera unveiled the new cell during the Renewable Energy 2006 International Exhibition held in Makuhari, Japan from October 10 to October 13, 2006. “It was a huge hit at our booth,” said Tom Dyer, Vice President of Marketing and Government Affairs for Kyocera Solar, Inc.
Kyocera Solar, Inc. (www.kyocerasolar.com) is a world-leading supplier of environmentally sound, solar electric energy solutions, with headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. and sales affiliates in the Americas and Australia. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kyocera International, Inc. of San Diego, the North American headquarters and holding company for Kyoto, Japan-based Kyocera Corporation.
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE: KYO; www.kyocera.com), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of advanced ceramics. By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera Corporation has become a leading supplier of solar energy systems, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor packages, electronic components, laser printers, copiers and industrial ceramics. During the year ending March 31, 2006, the company’s net sales totaled 1.18 trillion yen (approximately US$10 billion).