New world record for solar cell efficiency announced

U.S.-based SunPower Corp. has said it has produced a full-scale solar cell with a sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of 24.2 percent.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Richard Swanson, SunPower founder and chief technology officer said: "As we celebrate SunPower’s 25th anniversary this year, I am thrilled to see the company achieve technology milestones that were inconceivable only a few years ago. SunPower’s research and development and engineering teams have increased cell efficiency by a full four percentage points over the last five years while radically driving down manufacturing costs. We are extremely proud of their continued success."

Improved cell efficiency, says the company, reduces the levelized cost of energy by increasing the energy production from each wafer manufactured into a solar cell. For the same reason, increased efficiency reduces the cost per watt and cost per kilowatt-hour for feedstock and materials, depreciation and other manufacturing expenses, installation time, land and system operations, and related maintenance.