Canadian Manufacturing

Panasonic reclaims top spot in solar PV efficiency race

23.8 per cent-efficient module eclipses record by full percentage point

March 2, 2016  by Cleantech Canada Staff


OSAKA, Japan—Photovoltaic researchers at Panasonic Corp. continue to innovate their way to the head of the solar efficiency race.

The Japanese electronics conglomerate has announced it has developed a PV module with a world-record efficiency of 23.8 per cent. The research-level product leapfrogs SunPower’s record module’s efficiency—announced just last week—by a full one per cent. The development is the latest in a competitive race to post the best efficiency numbers for crystalline silicon-based photovoltaics.

Panasonic’s PV module uses a silicon hetero-junction structure composed of crystalline silicon substrate and amorphous silicon layers. Unlike SunPower’s X22 module, however, which is now available to consumers in the U.S., Panasonic’s HIT module has yet to reach the commercial market. The company says it continues to work toward lowering costs and entering mass production.