by Zachary Shahan
I know, solar panel records are set almost everyday these days, it seems. One reason solar power costs have already dropped over 20 percent this year. But who doesn't love a "new solar panel record set" story?
SunPower, the most popular solar panel company in California, which is the clear solar leader in the U.S., was recently awarded the Guinness Book of World Records Award for providing "the most efficient commercially available photovoltaic modules on the market." The award was presented at the Intersolar conference in Germany.
"We got the certification from them [i.e., Guinness] on Monday, and made the announcement at Intersolar on Wednesday evening at our E20 launch event," said SunPower spokesperson Ingrid Ekstrom.
The solar panels have an efficiency of 22.4 percent and are the first commercially-available PV modules to achieve an efficiency of over 20 percent (not that even 1 percent difference on this topic is huge).
"The E20 panels," which have 96 cells and are come in 333-watt and 327-watt models, "are available for all markets-residential and commercial rooftops and ground-mount power plant applications," Ekstrom noted.
The 22.4 percent efficiency rating was confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). And, the testers identified that they could actually operate 5 percent more efficiently. "The 22.4 percent efficiency for the Maxeon cells is an average efficiency measure for the product."
I'm sure we'll continue to see such records set in the coming years (if not months). But congratulations to SunPower for now for achieving this record efficiency and getting the nod from Guinness on it.
Photo by SunPower
Reprinted with permission from Cleantechnica