China-based module producer JinkoSolar has broken its own record for P-type monocrystalline passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) solar cell, reaching a new high of 23.45% efficiency.

The new record, announced at the recent China International Industry Fair (CIIF), beat the previous record - also held by JinkoSolar - of 22.78%, set in October. The record was independently validated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Photovoltaic and Wind Power System Quality Test Centre.

JinkoSolar credits the increased efficiency to new manufacturing and data collection techniques including IoT devices, intelligent mobile devices, and mobile robots in its manufacturing process. 

The company says such applications allow them to consolidate data collection, enable yield traceability, improve workflow efficiency, and optimise material transportation - ultimately allowing the company to continuously enhance its operating efficiency.

JinkoSolar has further integrated functions such as advanced data analytics, smart diagnostics, self-reporting, and precise forecasting. 

According to CEO of JinkoSolar Kangpin Chen, this was the fifth world record set in cell and module efficiency by the company this year. 

"World records have been shattered again and again at JinkoSolar," Chen said.

"Now, with assistance of intelligent manufacturing, we can translate these world-record learnings into mass production, which will undoubtedly make a big splash in the market.

"Effective introduction and implementation of smart manufacturing will help JinkoSolar further improve its production flows.

"Excellent technological know-how, manufacturing capacity, and customer loyalty that build on them are the foundation of jinkoSolar's current success. Data-driven innovations will be the foundation of its future success." 

Chen also predicts that this so-called ‘half-cell' technology could be the next big thing in solar production, particularly with their ability to overcome high production costs and capacity bottlenecks.

"One of the main advancements is the increase in half cell technology," Chen said. 

"Over a traditional full-cell module, half-cell module has as additional 5-10 watt of output with minimal margins cost.

"The technical and, more importantly, economic feasibility of half-cell technology means that we'll see half-cell modules gain substantial market share, particularly in residential markets where they have greater shade tolerance." 

JinkoSolar has production capacity for 4.5GW for solar cells, and 7.5GW for solar modules, and operates in 16 different countries, including Australia.