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Chinese PV firm starts MWT solar cell mass production

JA Solar says production of metal wrap-through cells marks milestone in company’s leadership in PV technology

JA Solar says MWT is at the core of the next generation of module technology

Leading Chinese PV firm JA Solar has started mass production of metal wrap-through ("MWT") solar cells. The company, which is one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-performance solar power products, said the development marks a significant milestone in its leadership in PV technology for the solar industry.

Mr Yong Liu, CTO of JA Solar, said: "MWT is at the core of the next generation of module technology, and represents a significant breakthrough in terms of power output and conversion efficiency. Mass production of MWT cells marks a significant milestone in JA Solar's ongoing technological leadership in the global solar industry."

The Shanghai company's MWT monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells have an average conversion efficiency of 19.6 per cent and 18.1 per cent, respectively, and a peak conversion efficiency of 20.0 per cent and 18.6 per cent.

JA Solar said by moving the emitter contact from the front to the rear of the cell via laser-drilling and plug paste printing, MWT technology "reduces the metallised area on the front side, increasing overall conversion efficiency." When assembled into modules, MWT cells require no welding and are therefore subject to lower power loss and a lower cell-breakage rate, the company said.

The news from JA Solar follows other companies working to improve PV technology production over the last 12 months. This includes Yingli Green Energy, one of the world's largest vertically integrated photovoltaic manufacturers, which in May 2012 announced it was working to develop module manufacturing processes and innovative component designs for solar cells.