What is solar PERC technology and why you need to know about it

Scientists and engineers are constantly innovating to provide the most bleeding-edge technology to solar PV systems to boost energy generation and speed up end users' return on investment. One of the most recent introductions to increase solar panel efficiency has been the development of a new industrial process of advanced passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology.

The introduction of PERC technology has increased solar efficiency, which translates to faster ROI and more savings for end users.


What makes PERC tech different?

PERC integrates back surface passivation, front surface advanced passivation and anti-light-induced degradation technologies, according to Solar Industry Magazine.

But what, exactly, does that mean? Let's break it down a bit more.

Inside of a solar panel rest cells made of silicon. A typical 12v panel will house about 36 cells, with each cell contributing to the panels' overall energy generation. Conventional monocrystalline cells have an emitter layer on the front side and a standard back surface field.

PERC cells, on the other hand, employ two different features not found in conventional cells. These include applying a passivation film on the rear surface of the cell and using chemicals to create tiny pockets in the film that absorb more light, according to Solar Power World Online. Different manufacturers can achieve this end in a variety of ways, but in each instance, the technique involves adding a dielectric passivation layer to the rear of the solar cell. 

The cell's front side receives direct sunlight while the rear side soaks up scattered and reflected light.

These additional features create a three-part advantage:

  • A significant reduction in electron recombination.
  • Greater absorption of light.
  • Higher internal reflectivity.

Combined, these three benefits boost energy generation in solar PERC cells compared to conventional ones. For instance, Trina Solar's DUOMAX Twin, a high-efficiency bifacial solar module, delivers as much as 25 percent more generating capacity compared to traditional single-sided modules.


How does PERC tech affect the end user?

Since solar PV installations require an upfront investment that pays for itself over the years through the reduction or even elimination of utility bills, the more energy the system generates, the greater the cost savings in the long run.

PERC technology lets solar cells absorb more light and gives them a higher internal reflectivity, providing end users with more possibilities for tilt and installation options. This is great news for those with unorthodox spaces or locations that might not initially seem the best for a solar PV installation, as the PERC tech allows for much greater array layout flexibility. PERC tech is ideal for rooftops, elevated ground, desert or snowy environments or on-water applications.

This leads to increased energy density and electricity generation for the system. Greater energy density significantly reduces the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for a solar PV installation. By effectively leveraging the modules with PERC technology, end users can obtain a much faster ROI. PERC panels also perform better under low-light conditions and high temperatures.

Click here to learn more about PERC technology from Trina Solar, a world leader in the research and development of photovoltaic technology.

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