Originally known as a manufacturer of PERC cells, Aiko has risen to the top of the global supply of PV cells and focused on all ABC technology. Thanks to the European research institute and logistics center, the company is quickly becoming a top player in the field of ABC modules.
Founded in 2009, Aiko initially became known as a manufacturer of bifacial PERC cells, the company turned its attention to n-type ABC in 2021 and began manufacturing and supplying solar modules based on the technology in 2022. Aiko’s ABC Black Hole Series recently received the 2023 Red Dot Award product design.
Aiko makes technological advances
While the theoretical efficiency limit for crystalline silicon cells is 29.4%, the academic community generally believes the technical limit to be around 27.5%. Despite this, the maximum efficiency measured in laboratories is currently 26.8%, which suggests that the technology is approaching the practical efficiency ceiling. Aiko’s 610W ABC module has achieved 23.6% conversion efficiency, one of the highest efficiencies in the industry, and the company says mass production of 24% efficiency modules can be achieved within the next 12 months.
Also on the tech front, recent field tests showed Aiko’s ABC module achieved an average 15.1 percent performance improvement over PERC, and the company is making progress on a silver-free metal coating that will reduce module costs and alleviate supply chain issues.
More from our partners
Establishing a foothold in Europe
Although the manufacturer has production facilities in China, it established the Solarlab Aiko Europe research facility in Freiburg, Germany in August 2020 and has secured a place as a major player on the continent. Aik has several European partners, including the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center (IMEC) in Belgium, CSEM in Switzerland, TNO in the Netherlands and Burgenland Energie in Austria, as well as the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Institute for Photovoltaics (IPV) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. Dr. Frank Feldmann, Solarlab’s principal scientist, said the primary purpose of the institute is to “combine China’s mass production know-how with European R&D know-how” with the goal of developing “the most commercially valuable mass production technology.”
Aiko has also built 10,000 m2 A European logistics center in Holland, which allows the manufacturer to complete deliveries within Europe in 1-6 business days, depending on the recipient’s location. According to data collected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Aiko ranked first in global solar cell shipments in 2021 with more than 31.2 GW of power delivered. The company’s production capacity is currently 42.5 GW and it is ready to continue its global growth.