SunPower Corp. has launched the SunPower E20 series of solar panels, which, according to the company, are the industry's first commercially available solar panels to achieve total area efficiencies of 20% or more.
The new 96-cell E20 solar panels are available in 333 W and 327 W models for rooftop installations and feature SunPower's 22.4% efficient, patented Maxeon cell technology. The all-back contact Maxeon solar cell captures significantly more sunlight and conducts more electrical current than conventional solar cells, SunPower says.
The E20 series also features positive power tolerance rating and comprehensive inverter compatibility. The positive power tolerance rating ensures that the power generated by each panel meets that panel's rating, or up to 5% more. With comprehensive inverter compatibility, SunPower customers can use high-performing transformer-less inverters to maximize system output, the company adds.
The prototype for the E20 was developed using funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under its Solar America Initiative, which were awarded to SunPower approximately four years ago. The E20 efficiency rating was confirmed by the DOE's National Renewable Energy Lab, SunPower says.
SunPower's E20 series solar panels will be offered in Europe and Australia this year, with availability extended in North America and Asia in early 2012.