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Clean Power SUNPOWER CORP. -X-SERIES SOLAR PANELS

Published on April 8th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

21

World Record X-Series Solar Panels Now For Sale

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April 8th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
 
Reposted from Solar Love:

SunPower is the well known leader in solar module efficiency. It has raised the bar yet again with the release of some super efficient ” X-Series Solar Panels.”

The new SunPower X-Series Solar Panels for the residential market offer an unprecedented 21.5% efficiency, and deliver more energy, higher reliability and superior aesthetics than conventional solar panels.  The SunPower Signature Black design allows the panels to blend seamlessly into the rooftop.  (PRNewsFoto/SunPower Corp.)

The new SunPower X-Series Solar Panels for the residential market offer an unprecedented 21.5% efficiency. The SunPower Signature Black design allows the panels to blend seamlessly into the rooftop. Image Credit: PRNewsFoto/SunPower Corp.

As I reported less than one month ago, SunPower now holds the record, and second place, and third place in solar module yield tests. Those records were for SunPower’s E-Series solar panels. Now, SunPower is selling these X-Series solar panels, which have a world record efficiency of 21.5%. The target for these X-Series solar panels is the residential market.

Compared to conventional solar panels, SunPower reports that its X-Series panels should generate approximately 75 percent more electricity over the first 25 years of ownership (on a roof of the same size). By anyone’s standards, that’s impressive.

“The X-Series delivers more energy, higher reliability and superior aesthetics than conventional solar panels.  The new world-record efficiency of this product line has received third-party validation by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL),” SunPower writes.

“The X-Series is made with SunPower’s third-generation Maxeon® solar cells which are built on a solid copper foundation for high reliability and performance. This foundation makes them virtually impervious to the corrosion and cracking that typically degrade conventional panels.  As a result, SunPower solar panels are backed by the industry’s first combined 25-year product and power warranty.”

That sounds good, doesn’t it?



Well, SunPower has always been known for quality. The tradeoff is that SunPower solar panels cost more than competing solar panels. The question is always what you value more, and what is best in specific circumstances. For residential use, I would guess that SunPower’s panels are best in the majority of situations. I think SunPower agrees, but that doesn’t mean it’s resting. In fact, its continued focus on performance is what led to the X-Series — the company already sat at #1.

“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.”

For more details on the X-Series, check out SunPower’s news release.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Irina Banks

    Sounds like its a breakthrough technology. I wonder if smb can give me Maxeon cells price comparison vs other suppliers?

  • http://www.2020solar.com Jenny Bakker

    The Xseries are now in the UK. Contact us for an estimate.

  • hbarudi .

    These new higher efficiency solar cells are this way because there is no metal lines of wires and no tabbing wire required for them, so there is no expanding metal due to heat which increases the life of the solar cell. How do they connect such cells together to make a solar module?

  • Solar Cross

    If I could find some bare cells of the gen 3 … Im certain I could break 10km/h on my <50lbs hybrid solar e-bike .. Here is Solar-Cross working: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqqar1isI78

  • ronwint

    Solar module efficiency is a joke. The only thing that a higher efficiency solar module means is a smaller footprint on your roof. A 300 watt lower efficiency module puts out the same 300 watts as a 300 watt high efficiency module. Only the size is different. So why pay 75% more money for a solar array only to get a smaller footprint on your roof. Only a fool that falls for the deceptive marketing would do that. Spend your money on a higher efficiency inverter not higher efficiency solar modules.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Nope. More efficient panels cut the cost of shipping, racking, and installation labor.

      A 75% premium wouldn’t make it worthwhile, but paying more in order to decrease BOS costs does at some premium.

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        And the bottom line is that some people don’t have enough roof space for getting all of their electricity from low-efficiency panels. Actually, my understanding is that a lot of people don’t.

        But yes, @ronwint:disqus, this it why high-efficiency panels are basically just used for residential rooftops.

  • doug card

    One of the keys on this is the likelihood of lower priced E series, which are almost as good at around 20% efficiency. If they drop under $1.50/watt, they would be a superior choice to the $.80/watt 16% panels I would think.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Current panel prices are around $0.60/W.

      20% efficiency panels might have to drop well under $1/W to be competitive. A 25% cost reduction in shipping, racking, real estate, and labor might not be enough.

  • mk1313

    Umm, $/kWh produced over the expected life of the panels?

    • Otis11

      And price of these panels vs. market average?

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        didn’t see pricing. and the product isn’t on the website yet. could email them, but i’m assuming that if the price isn’t listed anywhere, it won’t yet be provided to me to report.

        • Otis11

          Ok, just let us know when the information is available I’m sure many would like to know.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            definitely.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            SunPower’s response:

            Dear Zachary Shahan,

            Thank you for your interest in SunPower. We are sending you this email in response to the web inquiry you sent.

            Pricing is an information we could not provide. Also, we are working with network of SunPower dealers. For a more accurate quote, we can refer the homeowner to their local Dealer so they may evaluate their home and provide them the most suitable system for their needs.

            If you need more information, please visit our website at http://www.sunpowercorp.com.

          • Otis11

            So basically they only sell to retailers who install them… Ah, ok…

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            That’s what i figured, but i wasn’t sure, since I didn’t see that on the site anywhere. But since these were now on the market, but there wasn’t a price to be found, that was the only logical explanation other than “the price will be announced soon.”

            Generally speaking, if a price isn’t included in a press release or on the site, I’m not going to get it. People always hound us about it, but that’s the deal…. We of course try to find/include the price when possible.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      that would vary tremendously based on location. (and the price of the panels isn’t posted on the SunPower site.)

      • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

        i emailed asking for the price of the panels, though.

        • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

          From SunPower:

          Dear Zachary Shahan,

          Thank you for your interest in SunPower. We are sending you this email in response to the web inquiry you sent.

          Pricing is an information we could not provide. Also, we are working with network of SunPower dealers. For a more accurate quote, we can refer the homeowner to their local Dealer so they may evaluate their home and provide them the most suitable system for their needs.

          If you need more information, please visit our website at http://www.sunpowercorp.com.

      • mk1313

        Yes but it could be given for an “average” North American, European or Australian site so as to be able to make comparisons with what is already out there.

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