SunPower lifts lid on new record 21.5% efficient X-Series solar modules

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SunPower has made its new record performance modules available in the US today and across Europe in May.

The newly dubbed ‘X-Series’ modules come with SunPower’s latest ‘Maxeon Gen 3’ solar cell technology, which has conversion efficiencies of over 24%. SunPower had previously said that the solar cells had entered production in March 2012.

However, SunPower management said in its most recent quarterly conference call that the ramp of the cell technology enabled the company to significantly reduce costs.

The X-Series modules use a copper-based backside wafer interconnect, which reduces resistance and improves conductivity to reduce overall module efficiency losses.

The company said that the all-black aesthetic appearance of the modules meant the target market was specifically residential. A 250W, small format module has been designed to enable small-roof optimisation and a 345W standard size module will also be available

SunPower previously held the record high-performance module with its E-Series range that used its Gen 2 solar cells to enable module efficiencies above 20%. The E-Series was first launched in June 2011 at Intersolar Europe.

SunPower’s E-Series modules recently placed first, second and third in the 2012 testing conducted by Photon Magazine.

The company claims that the new X-Series modules provide approximately 8 to 10% more energy per rated watt when compared with conventional crystalline-based modules.

Other new and improved features include improved low-light and spectral response as well as lower temperature coefficient degradation.

“Our research and development teams have been working diligently to surpass the high performance standards set by our SunPower E-Series Solar Panels that are built with our second-generation solar cells. Today, we are proud to announce the world-record efficiency X-Series product line,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “SunPower has set the bar once again, as we continue to beat our own efficiency records, while delivering the most reliable solar technology on the market.”

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