Big news as Zhonghuan Semiconductor unveils 12-inch super wafer

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From pv magazine global

Tianjin-based wafer manufacturer Zhonghuan Semiconductor has launched a super-sized product 75% larger than conventional G1 wafers which it says, in an optimal technology format, could produce power output of up to 610 watts.

The company has launched the 12-inch ‘Kwafoo’ wafer which it says could generate that impressive output if used in a 60-piece p-type PERC (passivated emitter rear contact) module using half-cut solar cells.

In its publicity to announce the new product, the manufacturer said it would “work closely with partners from the entire value chain to build up a lower cost and more efficient platform for the PV solar market”.

Bigger means better

The new product will drive “much lower BOS [balance of system] and LCOE [levelized cost of energy prices for] PV projects, and more profitability”, said Zhonghuan chairman Shen Haoping, adding: “This will help expansion of grid parity projects and significantly push the development of the entire global PV market.”

The 12-inch M12 series monocrystalline wafer has a side length of 210mm, compared to the traditional 158.75mm and even larger than the 166mm products produced by some of Zhonghuan’s rivals since last year. The diagonal measurement is 295mm, compared to a conventional figure of around 223mm.

With Zhonguan’s output claim positioning the wafer ahead of that used by Longi in the 500 W module it unveiled at SNEC in Shanghai earlier this year, the Tianjin manufacturer also says its product can drive up conversion efficiency 0.91% to more than 20%.

Author: Vincent Shaw