The San Jose, Calif.-based company on Monday announced its second-generation, higher-power product at the Solar Power 2006 conference, and the panels are expected to be in mass production next year.
SunPower says it has managed to increase efficiency of the . Further, the 5-foot by 3-and-a-half-foot panels will pack 96 individual cells within them, compared to the 72 contained in the company?s current product.
Overall, these changes result in a 43 percent increase in power, said Julie Blunden, vice president of external affairs at SunPower. Each panel can generate 315 watts of electricity and will have roughly the sameas the existing line, she said.
The theoretical limit of monocrystalline silicon cell efficiency is about 25 percent, Blunden said.
Other companies are developing solar photovoltaic manufacturing techniques around, notably CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide).
But SunPower, which is owned by Cypress Semiconductor, intends to continue investing in higher solar efficiency and ways to lower the cost of installation, Blunden said.