● 9th Solar Cell Paste and Metallization Forum 2023 will be held virtually through Zoom on line.
● Simultaneous interpretation from Chinese to English will be available.
Photovoltaic cells have entered the era of 25%+ mass production efficiency. TOPCon, HJT and XBC are considered as the most promising next-generation cell technologies.
In 2022, TOPCon mass production will be accelerated, and PV cell manufacturers will begin to lay out large-scale TOPCon mass production lines. By the end of 2022, the announced production capacity of TOPCon has reached 78.6GW. In addition, TOPCon technology can be compatible with the PERC production line, and the difficulty of mass production is lower than other N-type technology. As the expansion of PERC is close to stagnation and the rapid layout of TOPCon capacity, ASIACHEM expects that China's TOPCon cell capacity is expected to exceed 300GW in 2023.
From the current TOPCon mass production, the efficiency of the leading enterprises is 24.7-25.1%. In October 2022, the conversion efficiency of Jinko 182 TOPCon cell reached 26.1%, creating a new record of laboratory efficiency. With the improvement of process and equipment as well as the decrease of equipment price, TOPCon's competitiveness will become more and more obvious in 2023, which is also an important reason for its large-scale industrialization.
Cost reduction and efficiency increase are the key of the PV industry development. For the metallization of the cells, it is mainly reflected in improving the paste performance and reducing the paste consumption. The PV silver paste is divided into two types: high temperature silver paste and low temperature silver paste. P-type cell and TOPCon cell use high-temperature silver paste, HJT cell use low-temperature silver paste. Silver paste is one of the highest cost factor within a solar cell production. At present, the consumption of front silver is mainly reduced through the MBB technology and reducing the line width. According to CPIA data, in 2021, the positive silver consumption of P-type cells will be about 71.7 mg/pcs, decrease 8.3% year on year, and the back silver consumption will be about 24.7 mg/pcs. The average consumption of silver (aluminum) paste (95% silver) used on the front of TOPCon cell is about 75.1mg/pcs, and the consumption of silver on the back is about 70mg/pcs.
The fine grid of the TOPCon front silver paste uses silver aluminum paste. Although the production process of the TOPCon front silver paste is similar to that of the P-type cell, the formula is quite different. Thus, the relevant paste companies need to increase investment in research and development.
The expansion of TOPCon continues to advance, and the process of low consumption of silver paste and localization is accelerated. For TOPCon cells, the cost of silver paste accounts for more than 40% of the non-silicon cost, which is still significantly higher than that of PERC cells. The cost reduction of silver paste has become an important part of the development of TOPCon mass production. On the one hand, the consumption of silver paste is reduced through thinning + MBB, and leading enterprises already have ultra-fine grid + SMBB technology. On the other hand, the localization of silver paste has continued to reduce costs, which will be accelerated with the TOPCon cell production capacity increasing. ASIACHEM predicts that the output of TOPCon cells in 2023 will increase significantly compared with 2022, and the total market size of TOPCon silver paste will reach 1785.3 tons. The price of TOPcon silver paste is estimated at 5500 yuan/kg, the market scale of TOPcon silver paste in 2023 is nearly 10 billion yuan!
In terms of market competition, TOPCon has good development prospects, attracting many companies to deploy. The cell efficiency and cost reduction have always been the concern topics. On March 1st 2023, the 9th Solar Cell Paste and Metallization Forum hosted by ASIACHEM will be held in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China. This conference will provide ZOOM Global Online Participation and simultaneous interpretation in Chinese and English. The meeting will discuss TOPCon cells to further improve efficiency and reduce costs.