A solar cell converts solar radiation into electrical energy using a photoelectric phenomenon. When sunlight hits the silicon cell, an electric current is generated. The solar cell does not wear out in the production process, but produces a constant direct current, which the inverter converts into alternating current. The material of the cell is usually either polycrystalline or monocrystalline silicon. The cell is wear-free, long-lasting and efficient. The power generation capacity of the entire system depends on the efficiency of the solar cell.
Valoe is using either MWT (Metal Wrapped Through) or new IBC (Interdigidated Back Contact) single crystal cells in its back contact modules. In both of these, the cell contacts are on the back side of the cell, allowing the cells to be automatically and reliably connected to an electrically conductive backsheet. The choice of cells is aimed at the highest possible electricity generation capacity and a long service life. The amount of electricity produced over its lifetime and the level of production cost (LCOE) determine the profitability of the investment.
Valoe's IBC (Interdigidated Back Contact) cell, based on Zebra technology, has been developed in collaboration with the German research center, ISC-Konstanz. The IBC cell is not only the most powerful and long-lasting commercially available solar cell but also very stylish with uniform dark colour. The front of the cell converts more than 23% of the sun's energy into electricity. The technology enables the double-sided modules, the back of the cell also collects reflected sunlight, which increases efficiency.
Valoe´s N-type monocrystal cell is wear-free and has an unlimited service life. There are no metal conductors on the front of the cell, so the clean surface optimizes the power output and looks good.
The back contact cell and back contact technology enable the production of Odd-form solar modules. The Odd-form module can be of variable shapes and sizes or flexible. It can be integrated into different surfaces and structures.
The uniform color of the IBC cells makes it desirable for a wide variety of applications where factors other than price are decisive.
Valoe´s back contact module works best with the IBC cell. IBC cells are new technology products and have not been commercially available. Valoe has invested a lot in the cell development and in building its own cell factory in Vilnius, Lithuania. The company has modernized the traditional cell line to to fit or IBC cell production. The final installations are underway and the production will start in the summer of 2020.