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SunPower Announces New World Record Solar Cell Efficiency

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July 17, 2010 – Comments (4)

Well this is very cool! Capturing ~one-quarter of the available terrestrial solar flux* and turning into electricity is an excellent achievement!

* Solar panels for spacecraft applications can have higher efficiencies than this because there is no light scattering / spectrum attenuation by the atmosphere.

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SunPower Announces New World Record Solar Cell Efficiency
http://investors.sunpowercorp.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=482133

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 23, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced today that it has produced a full-scale solar cell with a sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of 24.2 percent at its manufacturing plant in the Philippines. This is a new world record, confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), for large area silicon wafers.

"This new world record demonstrates SunPower's ability to extend our lead in manufacturing the world's highest efficiency solar cells," said Bill Mulligan, vice president of technology and development for SunPower. "Our patented and proprietary, high-efficiency solar cell technology drives down the cost of solar energy by increasing the energy production from each solar panel."

Improved cell efficiency reduces the levelized cost of energy by increasing the energy production from each wafer manufactured into a SunPower solar cell. For the same reason, increased efficiency reduces the cost per watt and cost per kilowatt-hour for feedstock and materials, depreciation and other manufacturing expenses, installation time, land and system operations, and related maintenance.

"As we celebrate SunPower's 25th anniversary this year, I am thrilled to see the company achieve technology milestones that were inconceivable only a few years ago," said Dr. Richard Swanson, SunPower founder and chief technology officer. "SunPower's research and development and engineering teams have increased cell efficiency by a full four percentage points over the last five years while radically driving down manufacturing costs. We are extremely proud of their continued success."

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 17, 2010 at 10:28 PM, ChrisGraley (29.69) wrote:

Great announcement, but have they hinted about manufacturing costs?

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#2) On July 17, 2010 at 11:53 PM, TMFBabo (100.00) wrote:

I hope solar power is one day efficient enough to be competitive without massive government subsidies.  I'm glad someone's researching tomorrow's necessary technology.

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#3) On July 18, 2010 at 12:45 AM, Tastylunch (29.38) wrote:

Binve-

A Bear's bear on weekdays

cheery sunshine solar man on the weekends . :)

OT: you take a look at ESV lately? I think the stock looks very cheap and has the hallmarks of a baby tossed out with the bathwater if you will.

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#4) On July 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM, binve (< 20) wrote:

ChrisGraley,

No not yet. And with I am a fan of super high efficiency cells (they are like the Rolls-Royce of cells), I really do believe all of the "bang for the buck" advancements, such as $1 to $0.10 per Watt coming from thin film solar. Larger area silicon based solar definitely has very useful applications, but for ubiquitious solar coverage, that will happen when thin film becomes more mature. See my pitch for ASTI. Thanks!

bullishbabo ,

>>I hope solar power is one day efficient enough to be competitive without massive government subsidies

Me too! and I think eventually it will.

Tastylunch ,

>>A Bear's bear on weekdays, cheery sunshine solar man on the weekends . :)

That's me :)

>> OT: you take a look at ESV lately? I think the stock looks very cheap and has the hallmarks of a baby tossed out with the bathwater if you will.

Maybe. I do like them fundamentally, but their chart is ugly. A pretty large double top at ~51 (once in Oct and again in Apr) + it is stalling right below the 200 day MA. If it breaks back above 45 on volume then I think it will pull away from the rest of the drilling pack, but until then it just looks like a big trap IMO..

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