Sharp announced that it will start full-scale mass production of its crystalline Si solar cells with a cell conversion efficiency of 20% in 2010.
"It is going to be more powerful than any other residential crystalline silicon solar cell," said Toshishige Hamano, executive vice president of Sharp Corp.
The company has already completed the development of the production technology at the prototype level and is confirming mass-productivity at its pilot plant. The mass-production plant will go on stream in 2009 and be fully operational in 2010.
Sharp also announced that it will sign a long-term agreement with a US polycrystalline Si material manufacturer in order to ensure stable procurement from 2010, when the mass-production of crystalline Si solar cells with a 20% cell conversion efficiency is scheduled to start.
In addition to Sharp, Kyocera Corp plans to start the mass production of back contact cells in 2009, while Mitsubishi Electric Corp intends to roll out honeycomb structure cells in 2010. Competition will intensify over the development of crystalline Si solar cells sometime around 2010, when the supply and demand balance for polycrystalline Si materials will probably even out.