Sandvika, December 11, 2009, REC and ECN (Energy research Center of the Netherlands) have together made the world's first multicrystalline solar panels with 17.0 percent efficiency.
The previous world record at 16.5 percent was beaten in the innovation race where the solar industry takes frequent leaps in technology development to make solar power a mainstream energy source in the near future.
The world record was a result of a joint effort - REC produced the highest quality multicrystalline solar wafers from the latest wafer production lines in Norway (these wafers are characterized by very low level of impurities and dislocation densities achieved by using REC's latest generation wafer furnaces). ECN produced the cells and assembled the world record solar panel.
"Reaching the 17 percent milestone has been a challenge to researchers for many years. The fact that ECN and REC now break this shows the enormous progress made in solar energy technology over the last few years and by REC and ECN in particular. I am glad to report this new world record in the solar cell efficiency tables in January, 2010", says Chief Editor of Progress in Photovoltaics Martin Green.
"We are pleased that our efforts in wafer technology development have allowed us to achieve this world record. Our previous joint REC/ECN record measurement was at 16.4 percent efficiency, and significant effort has gone in to reaching the 17 percent milestone", says SVP and CTO Erik Sauar.
"For ECN, it is most important to show our progress in industrially viable technology. The world record shows the enormous potential and we are certain that soon the first products will be available through our partners", says Managing Director of ECN Ton Hoff.
The performance measurement result was recently officially confirmed by European Solar Test Installation (ESTI). The measurements were done under Standard Test Conditions and represent aperture area efficiency.
For further information, please contact:
SVP & CTO Erik Sauar, tel.: +47 915 57 968
ECN Program Manager Jan Bultman, tel.: +31 224 56 4786
REC is the leading vertically integrated player in the solar energy industry. REC Silicon and REC Wafer are among the world's largest producers of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications. REC Solar is a rapidly growing manufacturer of solar cells and modules, and are also engaging in project development activities in selected segments of the PV market. REC had revenues of NOK 8 191 million and an operating profit of NOK 2 529 million in 2008. More than 3 000 employees work in REC's worldwide organization. Please also see www.recgroup.com
The Energy research Centre of the Netherlands develops high-quality knowledge and technology for the transition to sustainable energy management. ECN introduces this knowledge and technology to the market. ECN's focus is on energy conservation, sustainable energy and an efficient and clean use of fossil fuels. www.ecn.nl/home
The European Solar Test Installation is the first accredited test facility for the calibration of photovoltaic devices worldwide, offering photovoltaic type approval tests and calibration services to manufacturers, research partners and other users. ESTI is part of the Renewable Energy Unit in the Institute for Energy which is one of the seven scientific institutes of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. ie.jrc.ec.europa.eu