SunPower is introducing a new line of solar panels called its Performance Series. The new solar panels are based on technology developed by Cogenra Solar, which SunPower purchased earlier in 2015.
The new series of modules add to SunPower's portfolio of products, which include its E-Series and X-Series of panels, among the highest efficiency commercially available solar panels. The new, large 350 watt solar panels have an efficiency of 17 percent. SunPower said the new solar panels are designed for installations like larger roofs and other places where space is not an issue and a less-expensive solar panel is an ideal option.
It's the second announcement the company has made in the past 30-days aimed at the commercial market, following the announcement of its new Helix modular system for commercial installations. The commercial market has not received as much attention the U.S. as the utility-scale or residential solar markets in the past few years. But as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is set for elimination for the residential market and reduction for commercial and utility-scale installations at the end of 2016, it makes sense that SunPower is looking for growth in the commercial sector.
"Our new line of Performance Series products continue the SunPower tradition of higher efficiency, superior reliability and enhanced aesthetics compared with conventional panels, all in a lower priced product configuration," said Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower. "Together with our best-in-class E-Series and X-Series back-contact panels, we are expanding our product line to offer customers a wider range of product choice and increase our reach to additional markets, further enhancing company growth."
Cogenra developed a technology for connecting solar cells that eliminated the need for soldering and copper ribbons that cause power loss and degradation in conventional panels, according to SunPower. By removing the ribbons that partially shaded front of photovoltaic cells P-Series cells can capture more light. "We reduced the resistance to current within the solar panel and made the new solar panel bigger," the company added.
"SunPower's new Performance Series is a powerful combination of Cogenra's innovative cell interconnect technology, with more than 30 patents issued and pending, together with our extensive solar panel intellectual property, manufacturing experience and scale," Werner said. "These new products will provide our customers with up to 15 percent more power than conventional panels with improved reliability and shade tolerance."
SunPower said the new solar panels will be commercially available towards the end of 2016.