SAN MATEO, Calif.—Solar energy company, SolarCity has introduced a rooftop solar panel with a module efficiency exceeding 22 per cent, marking another significant step toward bringing the growing technology to everyday consumers.
“The new SolarCity panel generates more power per square foot and harvests more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere,” the company said.
SolarCity said it will begin producing the design in small quantities this month at its 100 megawatt pilot facility. Most of the new panels, however, will be built at SolarCity’s 1 gigawatt facility in Buffalo, New York. The San Mateo-based cleantech outfit said it expects to be producing between 9,000 and 10,000 solar panels each day when the Buffalo facility reaches full production.
The new panel was tested at the Renewable Energy Test Center, a third-party certification testing provider for photovoltaic and renewable energy products, where it measured 22.04 per cent efficiency.
“SolarCity’s new panel—created via a proprietary process that significantly reduces the manufacturing cost relative to other high-efficiency technologies—is the same size as standard efficiency solar panels, but produces 30 to 40 percent more power,” the company said.
The company said it expects to install the new panel on rooftops and carports for homes, businesses, schools and other organizations, but noted it will also be excellent for utility-scale solar fields and other large-scale, ground level installations.
UPDATE: Race for solar efficiency is on: Panasonic eclipses SolarCity’s record panel days after announcement