SunPower Solar Panels Achieve over 19% Efficiency
SunPower announced Monday that their new E19 line of 318-watt solar photovoltaic panels can achieve an efficiency of 19.5 percent, which is significantly higher than current silicon cell solar panels on the market that struggle to reach 15% efficiency. The E19 panels actually have three percent more surface area per cell, which helps increase their output. In addition, each cell has an anti-reflective coating to gather up the 'off-angle' sunlight which cannot be harvested by conventional solar cells. In addition to their higher efficiency, the coated solar cells make the solar panel array darker that existing systems, which SunPower believes will make them aesthetically pleasing to potential customers.
SunPower also will offer a smaller E19 version that can produce 238-watts using a total of 72 cells that can still achieve a high efficiency of 19.1 percent.
The E19 solar products will be released in Europe and North America later this year, and will be available for commercial and residential use. Although some solar manufacturers claim they are testing solar cells that can reach up to 42 percent efficiency, SunPower is the only company so far to mass produce solar cells that exceed the previous benchmark of 15 percent.