Clean Power

Published on January 31st, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Best-Performing Solar Modules in 2011 Announced

January 31st, 2012 by  

REC solar modules — exclusive usage rights for picture are held by the Photon Holding GmbH (Photo: Guido Schiefer /

Can you guess which company’s solar modules were determined to be the best-performing solar modules of 2011?

Well, if you haven’t heard already, Photon Laboratory has announced that REC’s solar modules were ranked first in the 2011 module field performance test. They produced “6 percent more energy than competing modules,” on average, a news release by REC noted.

The Photon Laboratory evaluation is a year-long comparative study of energy yield in the field. The evaluation looks at modules of different types, including thin film and monocrystaline.

solar module performance test site

Photon solar module performance test site in Aachen, Germany.

“Since 2005, a total of over 130 different module types has been installed on a piece of property – free of shadowing – were monitored constantly using an elaborate measurement system,” Photon notes. “Two to three units of each module type are represented in the test to prevent potential faulty products or modules with below average results from distorting the results for the entire series. The modules are installed in Germany, facing south at a 28° angle and are mounted about 2.5 m above the ground, which means they have complete rear ventilation.”

More details on the testing procedures are available on the Photon page linked above.

REC topped 45 other companies to take first place in this evaluation in 2011. In 2010, it came in 2nd place, behind Siliken. SolarWorld came in first in 2008 and 2009.

“The results published in the industry magazine Photon Profi state that the highest performance ratio of 90.8 percent and also the highest yield of 1150.4 kWh/kW were measured for the REC module,” REC is happy to point out.

“As the world’s most integrated solar company, REC delivers high performing products by controlling the complete solar value chain with production from silicon to cells, wafers and modules to systems development,” the company adds.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed 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, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. 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.

  • Jim Edwards

    would have been super to have the sale prce comparison of each brand along with manufactured price

    • Yeah, to be honest, I had to dig like crazy just to find previous winners. I’m not seeing any results reported directly by Photon. And individual companies who report they’ve won top place for the year don’t give much context, of course.

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