SunPower develops prototype panel with 20.4 percent total area efficiency

San Jose, Calif., October 26, 2009 – SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based solar cell and panel maker, produced a full-sized solar panel with a 20.4 percent total area efficiency.

The prototype was developed using funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy under its Solar America Initiative, which was awarded to SunPower about two years ago.

The 96-cell, 333-watt solar panel is comprised of SunPower’s third generation solar cell technology that offers a minimum cell efficiency of 23 percent.

In addition, the larger area cells are cut from a 165 mm diameter ingot and include an anti-reflective coating for maximum power generation.

With a total panel area of 1.6 square meters, including the frame, SunPower’s 20.4 percent panel achieved the highest efficiency rating of a full sized solar panel and the National Renewable Energy Lab, an independent testing facility, confirmed this rating.

SunPower expects to make the 20.4 percent efficiency solar panel commercially available within the next 24 months.

The company plans to begin operating a U.S. panel manufacturing facility in 2010 using automated equipment designed and commercialized with SAI funding.

SunPower recently announced the availability of the SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile (T5), the first photovoltaic roof product to combine solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. The T5 was also developed using research and development funds from the SAI.

Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. designs, manufactures and delivers solar technology to residential, business, government and utility customers. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

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