Suntech resets mc-Si bar with 16.53% cells

Suntech Power says it has exceeded its own just-achieved record mark for multi-crystalline silicon module conversion efficiency, reaching 16.53% — nearly a full point better than the 15.6% it achieved in August.

September 23, 2009 – Suntech Power says it has exceeded its own just-achieved record mark for multi-crystalline silicon module conversion efficiency — 16.53%, a mark confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE). The module is powered by the company’s Pluto PV cells, each with “well over 17%” efficiency, the company added.

The new efficiency mark is nearly a full point better than the 15.6% the company proclaimed in August, which itself squeaked past Sandia Labs’ 15-year-old mark of 15.5%.

The new mark represents “a clear margin over other multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic technologies” and sets “the new benchmark for the highest performance multi-crystalline module,” said Martin Green, research director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the U. of New South Wales in Australia, quoted by Suntech in a statement.

Suntech chairman/CEO Zhengrong Shi says in a statement that it proves something else: “that it is possible to combine both first-class R&D and low-cost manufacturing into a commercially viable business model that will bring clean alternative energy to the world’s growing energy demands.”

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