Report: Offset printing technique leads to >1% efficiency gain in solar cells

Japanese specialty printer Takanoha has developed a technology based on offset printing for fabricating electrodes on the surface of solar cells, reducing their size and opening up more surface area to enable an extra >1% efficiency, according to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily.

Using a set of 10+ rollers, the company prints electrodes in heights of 30-50μm, double the normal height but just a quarter the size possible with conventional screen-printing techniques, and maintaining high current in the electrode. Modifying the shape of the printing plate and using a different (unspecified) roller material than rubber also solved a problem in previous offset-printing efforts where the silver and other electrode materials adhered to the plate and did not transfer well to the rollers, the paper notes.

The electrodes created with the new technique take up less space, opening up 6% more surface area for light reception which translates into a >1% increase in electricity-generating efficiency, the paper notes. Takanoha plans to start taking orders later this year, projecting four orders in its first year, priced at around ¥120M (US ~$1.1M) each.


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