China Sunergy, a leading Chinese solar cell manufacturer, has selected Beneq ALD technology for surface passivation to improve the energy efficiency of its products. Beneq is a leading ALD manufacturing equipment supplier that has been developing crystalline silicon (c-Si) surface passivation with the batch atomic layer deposition (ALD) process since 2009. The first production-scale equipment will be delivered to China Sunergy in June 2013.
Beneq has signed a major collaboration agreement with China Sunergy to implement batch ALD in the production of its c-Si solar cells. “Beneq is extremely pleased and proud to work with China Sunergy, whose expertise in high-efficiency solar cells is truly unique. China Sunergy is a perfect partner for us to introduce our technology for mass production,” says Dr Tommi Vainio, Beneq Vice President and Head of Thin Film Equipment.
Even a small improvement in energy efficiency makes a big difference in energy production. The lifetime of solar panels is long; their price decreases the more electricity they produce.
China Sunergy is one of China’s largest solar panel manufacturers. The company now aims to drive the energy efficiency of solar cells made with crystalline silicon to over 20%. To date, the highest commercial silicon solar cell efficiency is about 19.5%, according to Dr Zhao.
Jianhua Zhao, China Sunergy’s CTO, set an unbroken world record to date for the conversion efficiency of crystalline solar cells. In 1999, he and his wife, Dr Aihua Wang, achieved a 25% efficiency rate at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
China Sunergy has been evaluating surface passivation technology already for several years. “The reason to select batch ALD is because it provides the best passivation quality, enabling us to produce solar cells with the highest efficiency. Beneq is the most experienced company in large-scale batch ALD production. This makes them a natural partner for us. Additionally, Beneq’s ALD technology provides us with a cost-competitive solution,” says Dr Zhao.