SunEdison said today (Oct. 14) that it is announcing a new technology that will help increase the efficiency of its solar photovoltaic modules while decreasing total system cost. The company is calling the new technology zero white space (ZWS).
Overall the company said the new technology will increase solar module power output by up to 15 percent. “Effectively decreasing the total system cost by up to 8 percent,” the company said. The company said the technology works by reducing the amount of surface area on a solar panel that doesn’t produce electricity. “Specifically, ZWS utilizes the area between cells, eliminates losses due to bus bar shadowing, and reduces electrical losses,” the company said.
The new technology will allow SunEdison to boost the performance of its 350 watt, 72-cell solar PV panels to up to 400 watts. The company said it will bring production of the new technology into high volume manufacturing in the second half of 2015.
"SunEdison's ZWS technology is a major achievement that will significantly reduce the cost of solar energy," said Dave Ranhoff, president of solar materials at SunEdison. "Most high efficiency solar modules rely on expensive solar cells, but ZWS technology boosts performance by optimizing the solar module itself. Our R&D centers in St. Peters, Missouri and Bengaluru, India, developed module prototypes which delivered a 10 percent increase in peak power output, using commercially available PERC cells—and this is just the beginning of where ZWS can take performance.”
"This technology is particularly well suited for area-constrained residential installations,” Ranhoff said. “By increasing efficiency without adding cost, we can increase the economic value of solar—in many cases by thousands of dollars. And as an added benefit, ZWS technology creates a beautiful black finish which is highly valued by homeowners."
The news comes following an announcement from SunEdison on Oct. 1. At that point it said its most advanced polysilicon technology is in production in a Korean facility and was on “target to produce solar material at the lowest cost in the world.” The company anticipated deliver 400 watt solar panel at a cost of 40 cents per watt peak by 2016.
"Solar energy is at a transformational moment in time and innovative technology is what will power that transformation," said Ahmad Chatila, Chief Executive Officer of SunEdison. "Our latest advance is a leap forward in solar technology and will enable solar power to become the lowest cost energy solution—not just an alternative to other renewables, but the cost-winner over fossil fuels as well."Tweet