A Panasonic solar panel has established a new world record module conversion efficiency of 22.5% on a commercial sized prototype using solar cells based on mass production technology. The test results were confirmed by the renowned Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. The 72-cell, 270-watt prototype incorporates newly developed enhanced technology that will eventually be scaled into volume production.
The latest advance, in theory, allows Panasonic to squeak past SolarCity as having the most efficient solar panel in the world. SolarCity announced last week that it had achieved an efficiency rating of 22.04% in panels that it will begin manufacturing this month.
However, Panasonic’s solar panels are based on “thin-layer” solar cells, which are more expensive to produce than the standard solar cells being used by SolarCity.
Between the SolarCity announcement and the one from Panasonic, it is clear that the future of solar power is only going to get brighter over time as manufacturers figure out how to get even more electricity from a given area of solar panels.