Solar cell for almost a decade had been stable with its size
as M2 which was also the choice of end customer. However with the drive for
enhanced power output alongside reduction in solar PV’s levelized cost of
electricity (LCOE), the need for change was inevitable. The industry started
taking cue from the semiconductor industry i.e. to increase the wafer size
(refer  Figure 1
which would result in direct increase in power output. The size of the wafer
quickly jumped from 156.75 mm / 157 mm to an intermediate size of 161.75 mm /
166 mm and then to 182 mm / 210 mm within a span of around five years. With the
current standard cell sizes, the PV module may have reached its size limits
which currently spans between 2.2 ~ 2.4 m in length to 1.1 ~ 1.3 m in width. With
higher power output still being the demand from end customer, any further
increase in wafer size would lead to proportional increase in module size. Such
increase in module size have limitations like MMS cost, self-weight, handling
limitation, etc. which would nullify the commercial gain from such enhancement.
Further with PERC cell reaching its efficiency limits, the need to focus on
alternative technologies is the need of the hour.


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