New Trina solar cell efficiency record smashes previous mark

solar panels on a roof and trina solar logo

Trina solar are still kicking goals in solar cell efficiency.

One year after setting the world record, the world’s largest Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer Trina Solar has done it again. The new benchmark for Trina solar cell efficiency for a p-type polycrystalline silicon solar cell has skyrocketed from 20.76 percent to 21.25 percent.

Developed at the company’s State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology of China, the result was confirmed by independent German testing lab the Fraunhofer ISE CalLab.

“We are very pleased to announce the new efficiency results achieved by our scientists and researchers at the State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology,” said Dr. Pierre Verlinden, Vice-President and Chief Scientist of Trina Solar. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time ever that a multi-crystalline silicon solar cell has been able to achieve a conversion efficiency of over 21%.”

But the record is more than just a pat on the back. It heralds a new dawn in silicon cell efficiency. In previous years, some analysts were noting the limitations of p-type multi cells with commercial efficiencies rated at well below the 20 percent mark. This left question marks hanging over the future of the standard p-type cells, over more efficient solar cells that used n-type silicon.

The Trina solar cell efficiency boost has shown that, with the correct methods, efficiency increases — the more sunlight that can be converted into energy — continues to grow for standard silicon.

Some eye-glazing facts for the PV techies from the Trina press release:

  • The record-breaking p-type multi-crystalline silicon solar cell was fabricated on a high-quality mc-Si substrate.
  • Integrates advanced Honey Plus technologies including back surface passivation and local back surface field.
  • The 156×156 mm2 solar cell reached a total-area efficiency of 21.25%.
  • This Trina solar panel efficiency record breaks the previous 20.76% efficiency world record for mc-Si solar cells also established by Trina Solar one year ago.

In a huge week for the leading solar PV manufacturer, Trina also received a swag of environmental awards for its role in the development of renewable energy and reduction of the effects of climate change. Trina Solar’s commitment to green and sustainable development was also recognised.

The latest Trina solar cell efficiency record shows its determination to help drive solar power even further down the cost curve.

Note from Finn: We are also getting reports that the new Trina Smart Modules with built in panel-level optimisation are performing really well in Australian conditions. If these new cells are implemented into the Smart Modules, they’ll be hard to beat for power-output per square meter, giving top-of-the-range Sunpower and LG solar panels a run for their money!


  1. Good news is always welcome.
    However???:- “The latest Trina solar cell efficiency record shows its determination to help drive solar power even further down the cost curve.”

    Doesn’t a better product always command a better (higher) price?

    In fact I’d lay odds that a one-half% improvement in efficiency will see an asking price increase of (?) five%.

    • Rich Bowden says

      Interesting point Jason. My thinking is that the extra efficiency will be handed on to the consumer, resulting in lower (real) price when calculated per unit of energy produced. However you may be right, time will tell.


  1. Sunpower grabs lead in bid for most efficient solar panel - Solar Quotes Blog says:

    […] weeks we’ve brought you commentaries on the remarkable breakthroughs achieved by Trina (here and here). Now Sunpower — the French-owned, US-based solar panel manufacturer — has stepped up to the […]

Speak Your Mind

Please keep the SolarQuotes blog constructive and useful with these 5 rules:

1. Real names are preferred - you should be happy to put your name to your comments.
2. Put down your weapons.
3. Assume positive intention.
4. If you are in the solar industry - try to get to the truth, not the sale.
5. Please stay on topic.

Please solve: 10 + 2 

Get The SolarQuotes Weekly Newsletter