SCHOTT solutions no. 1/2011 > Solar Technology

Ten percent higher efficiency can be achieved with the world‘s first completely integrated module technology for back contact solar cells. Photo: Solland Solar

The Power Comes from the Back Side


SCHOTT Solar and Solland Solar combine their know-how to mass manufacture innovative back contact solar modules.


Lars Waldmann

The model seems to come from nature: The structure on the front side of the Sunweb® cell looks much like the fine veins of leaves. And like its role model, the solar cell also captures sunlight. However, the fact that it is able to do this extremely well has to do with its back side. Unlike conventional solar technology, the electrical current is guided through the cell from the front to the back, where all of the contacts are located. This not only increases the size of the sunlit surface area, but also reduces the energy loss caused by electrical resistance. The technology used here is called MWT (Metal Wrap Through).

Back contact solar cells have been known for some time. Now, two companies are working to make sure it meets with market success: SCHOTT Solar and the Dutch solar manufacturer Solland Solar have signed a partnership agreement that includes technology license agreements and joint research and development efforts. This will give SCHOTT Solar access to Solland’s unique Sunweb® technology for back contact solar cells and PV modules. Solland, on the other hand, will benefit from SCHOTT Solar’s experience in module engineering and manufacturing and thus allow for Sunweb® modules to hit the market more quickly. The two companies are now building a pilot production line for modules at a Solland plant in the Netherlands.
Cross-section: With the ”metal wrap through” back contact cell technology, the electrical current is guided through the cell from the front to the back, where all of the contacts are located. <| Photo: Solland Solar
”By combining our innovative technologies, we want to achieve much higher product efficiency and, at the same time, lower our production costs in the future. This will further strengthen the SCHOTT Solar® brand for the benefit of our customers. And we will be able to guarantee high quality standards and thus long service lives for all our modules,” notes Dr. Martin Heming, CEO of SCHOTT Solar. Henk Roelofs, Managing Director of Solland Solar, adds, “We are extremely pleased with SCHOTT Solar, our first partner for Sunweb®. The company’s in-depth know-how in testing and further developing module technologies and experience in serial manufacturing make it possible for us to enter the market more quickly with a high-performance module based on future cell technology.”

This is the world’s first fully integrated module technology for back contact solar cells that leverages Solland’s In-Laminated Soldering (ILS) technology that a patent has already been filed for. Here, the cells are no longer soldered together, but connected and interlinked using a special foil. The modules manufactured in this way offer ten percent higher efficiency than conventional modules. Thanks to their high performance and attractive appearance, they are mainly intended for the residential market. <|