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Published on June 19th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Solar Panels from SunPower Achieve Guinness World Record

June 19th, 2011 by  

sunpower solar panels

I know, solar panel records are set almost everyday these days, it seems. One reason solar power costs have already dropped over 20% this year. But who doesn’t love a “new solar panel record set” story?

SunPower, the most popular solar panel company in California, which is the clear solar leader in the U.S., was recently awarded the Guinness Book of World Records Award for providing “the most efficient commercially available photovoltaic modules on the market.” The award was presented at the Intersolar conference in Germany.

“We got the certification from them [i.e., Guinness] on Monday, and made the announcement at Intersolar on Wednesday evening at our E20 launch event,” said SunPower spokesperson Ingrid Ekstrom.

The solar cells on these solar panels have an efficiency of 22.4% and are the first commercially-available PV modules to achieve a solar cell efficiency of over 20%. (Useful reader note: The new E20 modules have a peak efficiency of 20.7%. The previous E19  modules had a peak efficiency of 19.6%).

“The E20 panels,” which have 96 cells and are come in 333-watt and 327-watt models, “are available for all markets—residential and commercial rooftops and ground-mount power plant applications,” Ekstrom noted.

The 22.4% efficiency rating was confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). And, the testers identified that they could actually operate 5% more efficiently. “The 22.4 percent efficiency for the Maxeon cells is an average efficiency measure for the product.”

I’m sure we’ll continue to see such records set in the coming years (if not months). But congratulations to SunPower for now for achieving this record efficiency and getting the nod from Guinness on it.

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Image: screenshot of SunPower website

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • jstack6

    The 22.4% efficiency rating was confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). And, the testers identified that they could actually operate 5% more efficiently.

  • Pingback: Solar Power Coming To 90+ California Schools | CleanTechnica()

  • BIG ERROR: the CELLS have an efficiency of 22.4%. The PANELS that feature these cells have an efficiency of about 19.60%. It’s still amazing, but an important detail…

    • Anonymous

      shite, i was actually thinking cells! not panels. can’t believe i wrote that! (fixing now)

    • Solarplaza

      Little update: I was a little off. The 19.60% that I mentioned from the top of my head goes for the E19 modules, which are the best Sunpower modules commercially available right now. The new E20 modules even have a peak efficiency of 20.7%. They, however, are not available yet…

      • Anonymous

        thanks for the info. going to stick this bit of info in the body of the post (highlighting that it was added by a reader)

  • Anonymous


    I read that late last night & wrote a similar story on another site about
    it, & was planning to write one on here today (still am), so thanks for
    sharing. Happy to see I’m not the only one thinking that was a great story
    (& this is a strange, important topic). 😀

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