Solar

SunPower unveils 20.4% efficient panel

SunPower says it has produced a full-size solar panel (333W, 1.6m2 including frame) with an NREL-confirmed record 20.4% total area efficiency.

October 29, 2009 – SunPower says it has produced a full-size solar panel with an NREL-confirmed record 20.4% total area efficiency.

The 333W, 1.6m2 (including frame) panel incorporates 96 cells that offer minimum 23% efficiency; they’re cut from a 165nm-dia. ingot, with an antireflective coating. The company anticipates making the panel commercially available within two years.

“My colleagues at the DOE and NREL had cautioned me that reaching a 20% solar panel was a stretch,” said Larry Kazmerski, executive director, science and technology partnerships, at NREL, in a statement. “I congratulate SunPower and its team of talented engineers on realizing this accomplishment.”

“Without the funding from the SAI, it would have taken us much longer to deliver both the world-record 96-cell solar panel,” noted Bill Mulligan, SunPower’s VP of technology and development.

The prototype panel was developed using funds from the US DoE’s Solar America Initiative (SAI), awarded to SunPower two years ago; SAI funds also supported R&D work on the company’s recently-announced T5 solar roof tile, and are being used for a planned US panel manufacturing facility expected to open in 2010.