Solar panel sets conversion efficiency world record
In the race to develop ever more efficient solar modules Panasonic Panasonic Eco Solutions announced a record for a commercial sized solar-cell prototype.
Pansonic said they have created a new world-record module conversion efficiency of 22.5% on a commercial-sized prototype using solar cells based on mass-production technology.
The test results were confirmed by the renowned Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The 72-cell, 270-watt prototype incorporates newly developed enhanced technology that will eventually be scaled into volume production.
That's a slightly higher level of efficiency than the module SolarCity announced earlier this month.
SolarCity announced that it had built the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent. SolarCity said the new generated more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere.
SolarCity's panel was measured with 22.04 percent module-level efficiency by Renewable Energy Test Center, a third-party certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy products. SolarCity's new panel—created via a proprietary process that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other high-efficiency technologies—is the same size as standard efficiency solar panels, but produces 30-40 percent more power.
SolarCity plans to produce the first modules in small this month at its 100 MW pilot facility, but the majority of the new solar panels will ultimately be produced at SolarCity's 1 GW facility in Buffalo, New York. SolarCity expects to be producing between 9,000 to 10,000 solar panels each day with similar efficiency when the Buffalo facility reaches full capacity.
This new record on module-level efficiency adds to the 25.6% efficiency record achieved last year at cell-level. “The new panel efficiency record demonstrates once again Panasonic’s proven leadership in photovoltaics and our ongoing commitment to move the needle in advanced solar technology,” said Daniel Roca, senior business developer at Panasonic Eco Solutions Europe
Also, Panasonic announced the launch of the powerful photovoltaic module HIT® N330, the latest addition to the company’s high-efficiency heterojunction photovoltaic module product line.
The new module, which will be available in the UK and other European markets from March 2016, will be introduced at Solar Energy UK, taking place October 13-15 in Birmingham.
Manufactured at Panasonic’s state-of-the-art, vertically integrated solar fabrication facilities in Malaysia, HIT N330 features 19.7% module-level efficiency and a nominal power output of 330 watts. The new 96-cell module returns approximately 27% more peak-power compared to mainstream 260-watt multicrystalline modules.
Because of the increased power for the same number of modules and used roof area from an N330-equipped array, installers can benefit from significantly lower balance of systems costs on residential and commercial installations.
“Featuring the same unparalleled quality, reliable performance and industry-leading temperature coefficient as Panasonic’s popular N245 and N285 HIT® series, HIT N330 offers even higher energy density per square meter and reduces the total number of modules required, making it ideal for European ‘self-consumption’ markets,” Roca said. “For solar installers, the high-performance HIT® N330, represents the ideal complement to their existing Panasonic Solar portfolio, delivering the missing tool to achieve more power on any roof and to maximize balance of systems savings and lower installation costs.”
Read more about home solar power.