A company that was co-founded by Elon Musk has unveiled a new solar panel that is promised to be the “world’s most efficient.”
The new panel will be manufactured in the U.S. at SolarCity‘s Buffalo facility in New York. When the facility reaches full capacity, it is expected to produce between 9,000 and 10,000 solar panels each day.
The new panels will produce 30 to 40 per cent more power than standard panels, while costing less than the average panel when manufactured at scale, the company said.
Watch Elon Musk and SolarCity unveil the “world’s most efficient” solar panel:
The breakthrough here is high efficiency at a lower cost.
“In the past, those have been opposed to one another,” SolarCity Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive said in an interview with Time.
With a module efficiency of 22.04 per cent, it beats the X-Series panels built by SunPower, which have an efficiency around 21.5 per cent. The results have also been confirmed by the Renewable Energy Test Center, which is a third-party photovoltaic testing company based in California.
See why Elon Musk’s SolarCity agreed to acquire Silevo:
Silevo specializes in designing high-efficiency panels that are cheaper and faster to manufacture. To do this, they use copper instead of silver, and have simplified the manufacturing process to just six steps.
Watch the company’s simplified production process:
Most solar panels are made using “p-type” crystalline silicon. However, Silevo is using the “n-type,” which works better in hot temperatures and increases the efficiency of the panel. Some experts are quick to point out that n-type silicon is more expensive to make, which is true. However, if you are looking at a larger production scale, it makes sense, and that is what SolarCity plans to do.
For more information on clean, reliable, and an abundant source of renewable energy go to the Solar Action Alliance website.