Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The Chinese solar company Suntech has roared back to life with a new silicon solar cell efficiency record, just two months after setting a previous record.

Clean Power

Suntech Ramps Up Silicon Solar Cell Efficiency Again, Beats Own Record

The Chinese solar company Suntech has roared back to life with a new silicon solar cell efficiency record, just two months after setting a previous record.

Fancy new solar cell materials like perovskites and graphene have been distracting us with high-tech sparkles in the lab, but in the meantime, good old silicon is still the gold standard for solar cell efficiency in the marketplace. Exhibit A is today’s news from the solar cell manufacturer Wuxi Suntech, which has just announced yet another breakthrough.

Suntech solar cell efficiency.

Suntech worker with HyPro cell.

The Suntech Solar Cell Efficiency Breakthrough

Wuxi Suntech, more familiarly known as Suntech, was acquired by Shunfeng International Clean Energy, Ltd. (SFCE) last spring, and the new breakthrough was confirmed by China’s National Center of Supervision and Inspection on Solar Photovoltaic Products.

Suntech’s monocrystalline silicon cells achieved a conversion efficiency ranging up to 20.82%, with its polycristalline cells coming in slightly lower at 19.11%.

According to the company, only two months ago, it achieved a conversion efficiency of 20.5% for its HyPro monocrystalline silicon cells.

The difference of .32 percent might not look all that impressive, but cumulatively those little increments in efficiency add up to huge numbers.


Solar Cell Efficiency Is Half The Battle

If you’re familiar with the “soft costs” of solar power, you know that the conversion efficiency of a solar cell is only part of the equation.

Furthermore, other elements such as solar tracking can pump up efficiency even more, and that’s where the SFCE acquisition comes into play in terms of overall solar module efficiency. Here’s how it all comes together:

As part of the SFCE group, Suntech and other subsidiaries are in the unique position to achieve even greater output in electricity generation through leveraging technological synergies… Coupling Suntech’s new high-efficiency modules with Sunways’s inverters delivers 3% more electricity generation. Moreover, SFCE’s EPC solutions deliver additional output yields of over 20% when used alongside Sunways’ Smart Linkage Tracker, and an additional 3% from the use of meteocontrol’s O&M systems…

Didn’t You Forget Something?

No, we didn’t. Advanced energy storage is rapidly becoming part and parcel of the overall solar power equation. So, naturally, you’d expect SFCE to have a finger in the energy storage pot, too.

As a matter of fact, just last summer, Suntech acquired a stake in the US energy storage company Powin Energy to the tune of $24 million.

Powin energy storage

Inside the Powin shippable energy storage system.

Powin specializes in lithium-ion batteries designed to be container-friendly for ease of transportation and setup.

That fits right in with SFCE’s customer-centric, one-stop-shopping business model, so stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Photo Credits: top, courtesy of SunTech; bottom, courtesy of Powin Energy.

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Spoutible.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

The silicon wafer NexWafe says buh-bye kerf, hello low-cost, lightweight, flexible solar cells.


One of my favourite reports of the month, the China EV Sales Report, was published yesterday. I always look forward to the monthly China...


Electric cars from China are coming to Europe. Are European manufacturers worried? It depends on who you ask.


Plugin vehicles are all the rage in the Chinese auto market. Plugins scored over half a million sales last month, up 93% year over...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.