Suntech achieves world-record conversion efficiency for a multi-crystalline PV module

August 21, 2009--Suntech Power Holdings (Wuxi, China), manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules, achieved a new world record conversion efficiency of 15.6% on a commercial grade multi-crystalline silicon PV module. This conversion efficiency surpasses the previous record of 15.5% (aperture area only) set by Sandia National Labs 15 years ago. The multi-crystalline module conversion efficiency was independently tested by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany.

August 21, 2009--Suntech Power Holdings (Wuxi, China), manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules, achieved a new world record conversion efficiency of 15.6% on a commercial grade multi-crystalline silicon PV module. This conversion efficiency surpasses the previous record of 15.5% (aperture area only) set by Sandia National Labs 15 years ago. The multi-crystalline module conversion efficiency was independently tested by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany (see also "Optical modeling determines luminescent solar-concentrator efficiency" and "Enhancements enable solar simulators to shed light on new photovoltaic designs").

Suntech's world-record-breaking multi-crystalline silicon module is powered by Pluto PV cells utilizing solar grade silicon with each PV cell having a conversion efficiency well over 17%. The previous record was based on an aperture area or frameless module. In contrast, Suntech's new world record efficiency includes the framed area, without which Suntech believes it would achieve a conversion efficiency of well over 16%.

The world record conversion efficiency was accepted by the scientific journal Progress in Photovoltaics (PIP), which offers a prestigious forum for reporting advances in the PV industry. Professor Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and member of the PIP committee, said, "Improving the conversion efficiency of multi-crystalline silicon modules has proven particularly challenging and this is a very impressive achievement for such a large module from a commercial supplier. I can confirm that the 15.6% multi-crystalline module result is the highest known conversion efficiency measured by a PIP-recognized test center."

Suntech has initiated commercial shipments of Pluto-powered modules and currently expects to ship 10 MW to 15 MW of Pluto products in 2009.

For more information, go to www.suntech-power.com.

--Posted by Gail Overton, gailo@pennwell.com; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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