Suntech Pluto Breaks Solar Panel Efficiency Record

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, has announced that it has set a new world record conversion efficiency of 15.6% on a commercial grade multi-crystalline silicon solar panel, surpassing the record set by Sandia National Labs 15 years ago. 
    
The polycrystalline module conversion efficiency was independently verified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany. 
   
Once shunned by the Germans, Chinese solar panels have become increasingly popular in the country and the results from the respected Fraunhofer Institute will serve to further bolster Suntech’s reputation of quality.
    
The solar panel is powered by Suntech Pluto technology utilising solar grade silicon with each solar cell having a conversion efficiency well over 17%. Suntech’s new world record efficiency includes the framed area of the panel, without which Suntech says it would achieve a conversion efficiency of well over 16%.
   
The world record conversion efficiency was accepted by the scientific journal Progress in Photovoltaics (PIP). Professor Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales, Australia, has confirmed that the 15.6% multi-crystalline module result is the highest known conversion efficiency measured by a PIP-recognized test center.”
   
Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech’s Chief Technology Officer said the result for Suntech clearly demonstrates the power and versatility of the Pluto technology, which can be applied to both mono and polycrystalline wafers. Dr. Wenham believes there is still room for plenty more improvement in Pluto as Suntech pushes the boundaries of technology development to bring more powerful and reliable solar products to market.
  
The company has initiated commercial shipments of Suntech Pluto solar panels and currently expects to ship 10MW to 15MW of the products in 2009.