Everything You Should Know About TOPCon Solar Cells

05 Mar 2024

In the rapidly evolving world of solar technology, Tunnel Oxide Passivated Contact (TOPCon) solar cells are revolutionizing the renewable energy sector due to their compatibility with existing manufacturing processes, driving increased adoption by solar panel manufacturers. TOPCon solar cell technology advancements have reduced production costs while increasing energy output, making them ideal for space-constrained installations.


Interestingly, the global market value of TOPCon Solar Cells is expected to amount to USD 27027.99 million by 2031, with an astounding CAGR of 23.35% [1]. No matter if you are a residential consumer or a power plant constructor, it is high time to catch up with the TOPCon solar cell trends and tap into the amazing cost and efficiency potential they stand to offer.


Key Features and Innovations of TOPCon Solar Cells


TOPCon VS PERC Solar Panels differ across a few key aspects:


  • Efficiency

Efficiency in solar cells represents the portion of sunlight that the solar cell can effectively convert into electricity. The peak efficiency achievable with TOPCon cells reaches approximately 28%, surpassing the maximum efficiency of PERC cells, which typically reaches around 24% [2].


TOPCon solar panels use advanced passivation techniques, allowing for more efficient capture and conversion of sunlight into electricity than PERC panels, making them optimal for maximizing energy output and investment return. The space utilization is also optimized, allowing for much more flexibility in system design and installation, such as in expensive urban locations or limited rooftops.


  • Passivation Mechanism

In solar cells, passivation helps to reduce surface recombination of charge carriers (electrons and holes) at the interface between the semiconductor material and other materials or interfaces within the cell structure.


The more recent innovation, the TOPCon solar cell, uses a thin tunnel oxide layer on both sides, while the old PERC cells primarily focus on improving rear passivation to enhance efficiency. The highly effective double-side passivation mechanism through the use of tunnel oxide layers improves the overall efficiency by maximizing the number of charge carriers that can contribute to generating electrical current.


  • Cost Considerations

TOPCon solar panels have a higher initial cost than PERC cells due to the complexity of manufacturing processes, specifically in depositing and optimizing the thin tunnel oxide layer. Yet potential long-term economic benefits through increased energy output could offset this, contrasting with PERC's competitive initial cost.


  • Temperature Sensitivity

While both TOPCon and PERC cells generally have lower temperature coefficients compared to traditional solar cells, TOPCon cells may exhibit better temperature stability, making them suitable for diverse climates.


  • Bifacial Performance

The bifaciality is a feature designed by manufacturers to enable sunlight capture at both the front and rear surfaces. Neither PERC technology nor TOPCon inherently imply bifaciality.


However, TOPCon solar cells, incorporating a thin tunnel oxide layer on both the front and rear surfaces, are considered better suited for bifacial design primarily due to their advanced passivation layers and reduced recombination rates. Therefore, they generally outperform their PERC counterparts in ground-mounted installations or installations with highly reflective surfaces.


Applications of TOPCon VS PERC solar panels


1) Utility-Scale Solar Farms


Utility-scale solar farms prioritize maximizing energy output per unit area to optimize returns on investment. TOPCon panels offer higher efficiency compared to PERC panels, resulting in increased energy generation and improved overall performance. Also, its higher temperature stability will allow for more freedom for the installation location.


While TOPCon panels may have a higher initial cost, their potential for long-term economic benefits through higher energy yield makes them a suitable choice for utility-scale projects aiming for maximum energy production and efficiency.


2) Residential Off-Grid Power Installations


PERC panels, with their established cost-effectiveness and reliable performance, are well-suited for installations prioritizing affordability and standard efficiency levels.


Conversely, TOPCon solar panels are more suitable for self-sufficient households who prioritize maximizing power output from limited space and long-term performance. Though initially higher in cost, their long-term benefits, energy yields, and reliability in different temperature and weather conditions outweigh this, ensuring reliable and robust power generation for off-grid living.



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3) Commercial and Industrial Projects


Commercial and industrial projects often prioritize cost-effectiveness and proven technology, along with reliable performance over the project's lifetime.


PERC panels, with their competitive initial cost, widespread adoption, and established track record, are a suitable choice for these applications. While TOPCon panels offer higher efficiency, the additional cost may not be justified for commercial and industrial projects focused on achieving cost savings and meeting energy requirements efficiently.


Renown Solar Panel Manufacturer: Elite Solar

Elite Solar is a global leader in solar solutions with nearly 20 years of dedication to PV system solutions. Across our manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Cambodia, we have an annual wafer capacity of 6GW, complemented by cell and module capacities of 7GW and 5GW, respectively. This infrastructure is in place to cater to the diverse requirements of our global residential, industrial, commercial, and utility clients.


1) 182-72 N-Type Bifacial Module

These modules integrate cutting-edge elements like N-Type M10 wafers and TOPCon solar cells coupled with exceptional bifaciality, bringing efficiency and performance to the next level. This guarantees a rapid return on investment and enduring financial advantages. Capable of enduring up to 5400 Pa of snow loads and 2400 Pa of wind loads, they deliver unwavering reliability even in the harshest conditions.


2) 182-72 PERC Bifacial Module

Elite Solar's commitment to top-tier technology extends to the 182-72 PERC Bifacial Module, meeting industry standards like IEC61215 and UL61730. Its bifacial technology captures extra energy from the rear side (up to 25%). With high power generation, efficiency, weather resilience, PID resistance, and durability against extreme conditions, this module is a testament to Elite Solar's focus on quality and innovation.


About Elite Solar

Elite Solar offers smart energy solutions, innovation, and customized finance options that reduce risk, optimize electricity costs, and maximize value. The BNEF Tier 1 listed since 2012PVEL Top Performer2021-2023and Top Brand PV USA 2023 further attest to our credibility and reliability, product quality, and market recognition, making us a preferred choice for investors and project developers.


Contact Elite Solar’s professional team from global offices and factories to learn how we can cooperate together. Whether you're a solar equipment distributor, solar project developer, or interested investor, we hope to hear from and work with you as we progress together toward building an industry-leading solar ecosystem!



[1] TOPCon Solar Cell Market Detailed Analysis of Current Scenario with Growth Forecasts to 2031. Available at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/topcon-solar-cell-market-detailed-analysis-vmyqc/ (Accessed on February 20th, 2024.)

[2] The Complete Guide to TOPCon Technology. Available at https://www.eco-greenenergy.com/the-complete-guide-to-topcon-technology/ (Accessed on February 20th, 2024.)