The Whooper is a new type of solar panel that generates more power and reduces electricity costs compared to conventional panels. The Whooper brings together two technologies to create a new solar panel for large-scale production. TNO, Eurotron, Groenleven and SIEC are partnering in this venture.
With the Whooper project, the parties involved want to demonstrate that the innovation can be carried out on an industrial scale. Heterojunction solar cells have already shown record revenues. According to TNO, the rear-contact module technology, in which cells do not need to be soldered together so that the electrical resistance in the module is reduced, is particularly well suited in combination with heterojunction solar cells. “And it makes the front of the panel more aesthetically pleasing, as most of the contact points are placed at the back”.
Project coordinator Gianluca Coletti says that this combination of technologies leads to a breakthrough in solar technology, suitable for large-scale production. “It is an integration of cell and module architectures that are already on the market and applied individually. In addition, this design ensures significantly lower silver consumption for the heterojunction solar cells and less efficiency loss from the solar cells to the solar panels. This results in an increase in efficiency of up to 4% and a 3% reduction in costs for the electricity generated when switching from conventional silicon heterojunction solar panels to Whooper panels.
After a year of development, the technology should be ready for manufacture, and work can be done to evaluate the robustness and reproducibility of the technology on an industrial scale and to monitor the yield of the test modules at the SIEC site.
The Whooper project is taking place with the support of the Top Sector Energy of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, carried out by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO).