TOPCon vs IBC solar panels: a comparison of the highest energy yielding performance technologies

The solar industry is continuously evolving, with researchers and manufacturers striving to improve solar panel efficiency and performance. Two innovative solar cell technologies that have emerged in recent years are Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact (TOPCon) and Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cells. In this article, we will delve into both technologies, discuss their benefits and highlight their differences. We will also demonstrate why TOPCon technology might be a more promising option for the future of solar energy.

TOPCon Technology

TOPCon solar cells build upon the existing Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) technology. TOPCon cells utilize a passivated contact structure on both the front and rear surfaces to minimize energy losses due to recombination. Some of the key benefits of TOPCon technology include:

  • Higher efficiency: TOPCon solar cells have the potential to achieve higher conversion efficiencies than traditional PERC cells, making them a promising candidate for the next generation of solar panels.
  • Reduced Light-Induced Degradation (LID): These solar cells are less susceptible to LID, which helps maintain their performance and efficiency over time.
  • Lower temperature coefficient: TOPCon solar cells exhibit a lower temperature coefficient, enabling them to perform effectively even at higher temperatures.
  • Improved low-light performance: The advanced passivated contact structure allows TOPCon solar cells to capture and convert more light, even in low-light conditions.


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Discover all about TOPCon solar cells in this article:
Exploring TOPCon Solar Cells: The Next Generation of Photovoltaic Technology

IBC Technology

Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) solar cells are a type of high-efficiency solar cell that features a unique design where both the positive and negative contacts are located on the rear side of the cell. This eliminates shading losses on the front side and results in higher efficiency. Key benefits of IBC technology include:

  • High efficiency: IBC solar cells are known for their high conversion efficiencies, often exceeding 20%.
  • Reduced shading losses: By moving all contacts to the rear side, IBC cells minimize shading losses, contributing to better overall performance.
  • Aesthetic appeal: IBC solar panels offer a uniform appearance due to the absence of busbars on the front side, making them visually appealing to some customers.

Comparing TOPCon and IBC Technologies

While both TOPCon and IBC solar cells have their advantages, there are some key differences that make TOPCon technology stand out:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Although IBC solar cells boast high efficiencies, they are more expensive to produce due to their complex manufacturing process. In contrast, TOPCon solar cells can be manufactured using existing production lines, making them more cost-effective and easier to upscale.
  • Temperature performance: TOPCon solar cells have a lower temperature coefficient than IBC cells, which means their efficiency remains relatively stable even at higher temperatures. This makes TOPCon cells more suitable for a wider range of climates and locations.
  • Versatility: TOPCon solar cells offer improved performance in low-light conditions, making them a more versatile option for areas with variable sunlight or partially shaded installations.

TOPCon: a promising technology for the future

While both TOPCon and IBC technologies offer advancements in solar panel efficiency and performance, TOPCon technology may hold greater promise for the future of solar energy. With its cost-effective manufacturing, superior temperature performance and versatility in various conditions, TOPCon technology has the potential to reshape the solar industry and contribute to a more sustainable world. As researchers and manufacturers continue to explore and refine these innovative solar cell technologies, we can expect even more efficient and sustainable solar power solutions in the years to come. ELAT Solar is a proud TOPCon technology manufacturer, looking forward to further distributing this promising technology to households all over the world. 

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Dare to be different with ELAT Solar at Solar Solutions Bremen

17 and 18 April mark the dates when ELAT Solar showcases how we’re redefining the solar landscape at Solar Solutions Bremen.

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