Solar Panel Efficiency on the Rise

Joanna Schroeder

The efficiency of solar panels are on the rise with several companies making recent announcements that new products have increased sun to energy conversion rates. Today SunPower Corp has launched the SunPower E20 series of solar panels that achieve total area efficiencies of 20 percent or more. The 96-cell E20 solar panels are available in 333 watt and 327 watt models for rooftop installations and feature the company’s 22.4 percent efficient patented Maxeon cell technology.

According to the company, the Maxeon solar cell captures more sunlight and conducts more electrical current than other solar cells on the market. The cells hold the world record for efficiency among all commercially available mass-produced solar cells. The new cells also offer positive power tolerance rating and comprehensive inverter compatibility.

“With the E20 series solar panels, SunPower has once again broken a world record for efficiency,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “SunPower consistently delivers the most efficient and reliable solar technology on the market, guaranteed to deliver the greatest return on investment to our customers.”

To help with the development of the E20 solar cells, SunPower received funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its Solar America Initiative. The funds were awarded four years ago. The E20 efficiency rating was confirmed by the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab. The solar cells will be available in Europe and Australia this year with North American and Asia rollouts in early 2012.

Electricity, Energy, Solar