A new solar panel from SunPower has set a record for efficiency — meaning it generates more power — and one of the company’s officials agreed to an interview about it.
Q: You are in Germany receiving an award from the Guinness Book of World Records for solar panel efficiency….are you anticipating that you will break your own record soon, and what is the next efficiency threshold that can be achieved?
A: We’re thrilled to receive this recognition from Guinness World Records for the leading efficiencies we have achieved with our commercially available technology. SunPower has led the industry in high efficiency solar cells and panels for some time, and will continue to make incremental changes to our cell and panel technology to further enhance efficiencies where possible.
Q: News of increased solar panel efficiency is published with some frequency, but the articles tend to oriented towards an audience that has technical knowledge, and don’t explain to consumers why it is relevant to them…what should people who want to buy solar panels for their home, or business know about your more efficient solar technology, and what does it translate to for them in terms of generating more power?
A: A high-efficiency SunPower solar power system will generate up to 50% more power for a home or business owner than a standard efficiency solar power system, delivering increased monthly savings as well as more clean, renewable solar power. Higher efficiency panels allow system owners to generate more power per square foot. This is particularly valuable when the usable space on a rooftop is constrained by factors such as trees that may cast shade on a roof, or architectural rooftop features that reduce the area available for a solar power system.
Q:Do you already have solar panel products available for sell that employ the more efficient technology?
A: Yes, SunPower manufactures the most efficient solar panels available on the market today, including our E19 and E18 solar panels, which feature efficiencies of 19% or more and 18% or more, respectively. SunPower panels are up to 50% more than conventional solar panels and two to four times more efficient than thin film solar. All of our panels utilize SunPower’s world-record 22.4% efficient Maxeon solar cell (the most efficient solar cell in mass production today), and come with a 25-year power warranty.
Q: Where will the SunPower E20 panels be available for purchasing, and has the price been set yet?
A: For homes and businesses, all of our high efficiency solar panels are available through SunPower’s dealer network. Go to sunpowercorp.com to find a dealer near you. SunPower dealers are trained in the design and installation of SunPower systems, and are held to high standards of customer service.
Q: What size are the E20s, and can they be installed by homeowners or business owners, or should professional roofers place them?
A: Each panel measures about 5 feet by 3.5 feet. For homes and businesses, all of our high efficiency solar panels are available through SunPower’s dealer network. SunPower dealers are trained in the design and installation of SunPower systems, and are held to high standards of customer service.
Q: Did you achieve the greater efficiency through your own in-house research team, or how did that take place?
A: SunPower has been a leader in solar cell efficiency since the company was founded in Silicon Valley in 1985. SunPower has always had a strong in-house research and development team, which focuses on delivering technology advancements to further enhance efficiency, reduce cost and serve our customer’s needs. The prototype for the E20 was successfully developed using funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under its Solar America Initiative, which was awarded to SunPower approximately four years ago.
Q: Are there leasing programs available for smaller systems, where SunPower owns the technology and the consumer gets to use the electricity?
A: SunPower offers residential leasing, as well as loans with low interest rates and a variety of terms. Go to sunpowercorp.com to learn more and find a SunPower dealer who can work with you to determine the best financing options.
Q: Is there a sort of beginners solar panel kit that one can purchase as an introduction, and then add more panels later?
A: One great advantage of solar power systems is that they are modular. System owners can add additional panels to their system to enjoy even greater monthly savings.
Image Credit: SunPower