WUXI, China, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest producer of solar panels, today announced that its industry-leading Pluto cell technology set a world record 20.3% efficiency for a production cell using standard commercial-grade p-type silicon wafers.
Developed by Suntech's research and technology development (R&D) team, in collaboration with the University of New South Wales, the incremental innovation in Pluto cell technology underscores Suntech's investment in R&D that delivers the best solar technology to its customers at an affordable price.
"This technology breakthrough marks another critical milestone in our effort to improve solar cell efficiency, which will ultimately make solar competitive with fossil fuels," said Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech's Chief Technology Officer, and Director of the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) at the University of New South Wales. "Technology innovation is imbued in Suntech's DNA, and as a global solar technology leader, our more than 400 R&D professionals around the world, including Australia, are committed to continually improve how we harness solar energy."
The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore has independently confirmed the 20.3% efficiency of the improved Pluto cell technology, a significant improvement over the 19.6% best cell efficiency of the first generation Pluto cell technology. With further optimization, the efficiency of the improved Pluto cell technology is projected to reach 21.0% in the next 6 – 12 months.
One of the key improvements for the Pluto cell technology is the incorporation of similar high-efficiency characteristics of the record-holding PERL cell technology in the conventional Pluto cell manufacturing process. These act to improve the rear surface design of a conventional Pluto cell, primarily by reducing the metal/silicon interface area while keeping the remaining non-contacted area well-passivated. In addition, Suntech has introduced process changes that minimize the use of high temperatures which make it possible to apply the high efficiency processes to the most commonly used commercial wafers.
Following the laboratory success of the improved Pluto cell technology, Suntech is now focusing on commercializing the technology. Suntech will advise when this technology is available in future releases of Suntech solar panels.
This new record for crystalline silicon solar cells follows the recent announcement by a team of researchers from Swinburne University of Technology and Suntech on the development of the world's most efficient broadband nanoplasmonic solar cells.
Advanced cell and module technology developments are a hallmark of Suntech's success in leading solar technology innovation. This latest breakthrough reflects the results of an effective collaboration between Suntech and research institutes worldwide to commercialize innovative technology. Suntech will maintain and extend this collaboration through Suntech R&D Australia Pty Ltd, established in 2011, where project activities target the manufacturing implementation of advanced cell technologies.
Suntech has recently been commended by several reputed institutions for its innovation – MIT Technology Review recognized Suntech as one of world's 50 most innovative companies; Fast Company recently named Suntech one of the top 10 most innovative companies in China; and EuPD awarded Suntech the 'Top Brand PV' seal, a well-respected award worldwide. In December 2011, PV Tech awarded Suntech's crystalline silicon solar panel as the most innovative solar product of 2011.
Further details on this breakthrough can be perused in the high-profile industry journal 'Progress in Photovoltaics', and can be found online here.
To learn more about Suntech's efforts in pursuing innovation excellence, please visit the Suntech Connect blog or follow us on Twitter @Suntech_Connect for regular updates.
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) produces industry-leading solar products for residential, commercial, industrial, and utility applications. With regional headquarters in China, Switzerland, and the United States, and gigawatt-scale manufacturing worldwide, Suntech has delivered more than 20,000,000 photovoltaic panels to over a thousand customers in more than 80 countries. Suntech's pioneering R&D creates customer-centric innovations that are driving solar to grid parity against fossil fuels. Suntech's mission is to provide everyone with reliable access to nature's cleanest and most abundant energy source.
For more information about Suntech's people and products visit: http://www.suntech-power.com
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements including, Pluto cell technology underscores Suntech's investment in R&D that delivers the best solar technology to its customers at an affordable price; and with further optimization, the efficiency of the Pluto cell technology is projected to reach 21.0% in the next 6 – 12 months. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Suntech's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.
For further information, please contact
Weber Shandwick for Suntech
Tel: +86 21 2411 0046
SOURCE Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.