Pasadena, California-based Energy Innovations, Inc.,announced that its latest generation Sunflower module has achieved aworld leading 29% conversion efficiency – almost double the averageefficiency of flat plate photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Energy Innovations is a manufacturer of high concentration solarmodules and systems. Founded in 2001 at Idealab, the company pioneeredthe development of highly concentrated PV (HCPV) as a means to reducethe cost of solar energy. Energy Innovations developed the world’shighest concentration, most efficient, and lowest cost HCPV system. Bytaking a holistic approach to system design, the company integrates theSunflower 29% efficient module, 2-axis tracker, mounting structure andprimary wiring, significantly reducing installation time and totalinstalled costs.
According to Joe Budano,CEO of Energy Innovations, this 29% conversion efficiency is asignificant achievement that represents the culmination of substantialresearch and development work across a broad range of disciplinesincluding advanced optics designs, cell thermal management, trackingsystems design, and automated robotic assembly techniques.
Only with a fully integrated system approach, as employed in the Sunflower HCPV system, Budano said, can this type of world-leading performance be achieved.
“Energy Innovations’ Sunflower HCPV system makes solar morecost-effective, more powerful and a smart investment," Budano said.“Achieving this world-leading efficiency is another example of theadvantages our proprietary HCPV architecture provides. We are nowstarting to see real commercial products delivering on the promise ofCPV, for today and into the future.”
There are many other improvements on the horizon. EnergyInnovations’ Sunflower system uses proprietary silicone on glass (SoG)Fresnel lenses and advanced secondary optics to focus the sun 1,200:1onto high efficiency triple junction cells. Current generation triplejunction cells operate at greater than 38% efficiency. For example, Spectrolab,an Energy Innovations supplier, recently announced a 41.6% efficienttriple junction cell that will further enhance the performance of theSunflower system.
“The rapidly increasing performance of triple junction cells incombination with Energy Innovation’s aggressive cost down program isthe multiplier effect that substantially reduces our installed dollarper watt,” said Gregg Bone, CTO of Energy Innovations. “This clearlydemonstrates how our Sunflower HCPV technology will offer lower cost ofenergy compared with traditional thin film and crystalline silicon PVover the long term.”