Clean Power

Published on March 28th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Kyocera Working To Bring 22%-Efficient Solar Panels To Residential Market

March 28th, 2014 by  

Solar panels possessing impressively high efficiencies — up to 22% — may be available for residential use in Japan within only the next few years, if Kyocera gets it way anyways, based on recent comments made by the noted Japanese solar module manufacturer.

The comments came as part of the company’s recent announcement that it will begin supplying a monocrystalline panel to the Japanese residential solar market very soon (by the summer). The move will make Kyocera the only manufacturer to mass-produce both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules in the country.

monocrystalline silicon solar modules kyocera

As it stands currently, the monocrystalline modules that will be available will possess an efficiency of 19%, but the company is aiming to bring that number up to 22% within only a few years.

The move is in response to the relatively high demand for rooftop solar in Japan — even though FiT rates for large-solar PV projects in Japan have recently been reduced significantly, residential FiT rates are still pretty good. It’s currently expected that residential rooftop FiT rates will be reduced only by around 2.6% this year — not really a significant drop, so solar adoption in the residential sector isn’t likely to fall much.

For those of our readers that are currently salivating — unfortunately, there are no plans currently to sell the new modules in any markets except the Japanese one.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • tibi stibi

    higher efficiency seems the way to go because the solar cell is getting so cheap its just a small part of the total cost. most cost will go into installing. so if the number of panels will be less installing cost can go down, even with more expensive panels.

  • ronwint

    This article is entirely false. Kyocera will be producing up to 22% efficient cells not modules. Big Difference. Here’s a quote from Kyocera’s own website which this article provided a link to: “plans to raise the conversion efficiency of its monocrystalline cells from 19% to more than 22% within the next few years.”

    Hyper X Solar already offers cells with greater than 20% efficiency. Hyper X solar offers a better PTC to STC ratio “Real World” performance according to the California Energy Commission’s performance rating listings than over 100 of SunPower’s solar panel models.

    Hyper X solar also offers a -0.27%/degree C temperature coefficient rating for better performance in hot/warm climates and best of all Hyper X solar systems are priced thousands less and even tens of thousands less on larger systems than a SunPower solar system.

    Please correct the claim in this story.

  • Dave R

    With panels getting so cheap and composing a smaller and smaller portion of the cost of a solar PV system, paying a bit more for more efficient panels is worth while, especially if you are low on roof space.

    Going from 19-22% improves energy harvest by 15% with the same amount of area – the improvement in performance is better than the simple difference between the raw numbers.

  • So, Kyocera will be competing with SunPower who makes 21.57% efficient SPR-X21-255 modules.


    • Tom

      That chart puts Kyocera’s best panels at 16.09% efficiency.
      Is it an old chart or was it put together by another company looking to sell SunPower panels?

  • JamesWimberley

    The small size of Japanese houses places a premium on high efficiency. Panasonic (ex-Sharp) are also competing in this segment. Kyocera’s efficiency target here is not ambitious, but we may see interesting developments if big Japanese firms really get into tandem cells.

  • And so we’re stuck with 23% panels from Sunpower… Available now, albeit a bit on the expensive side.

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