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The selectively coated cell connector developed by Fraunhofer ISE

© Fraunhofer ISE

A selectively coated cell connector (Selectively Coated Ribbon, SCRTM) was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in collaboration with Heraeus. 60-cell PV modules equipped with this show a performance gain of 1.85 watts compared with conventionally coated and connected modules. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is sponsoring the development of cell connectors within the scope of the research project CONNECT Combined Metallization and Connection Technology for Efficient PV Modules.

The gain in performance occurs because, in contrast to conventional connectors, the coated edges of the SCRTM reflect incoming light onto the cells. As the researchers’ tests have shown, this effect is achieved irrespective of the angle of incidence. The increased performance thereby achieved can be built into the PV modules by the manufacturers at no additional cost. As the researchers emphasize, the cell connector can be included in the existing production process without the need to modify the manufacturing plants.

The innovative cell connector was already tested by Fraunhofer ISE in its own accredited test lab for PV modules and exhibited a high level of reliability in stress tests. Heraeus and its Austrian partner Ulbrich Solar Technologies already presented the product in September 2018 at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC) in Brussels.