1/30/2004 - SunPower Corp. announced that analogZONE has selected the A-300—the world’s highest-efficiency, low-cost silicon solar cell—as a winner of its “Product of the Year” award in the “Green Technology” category. The A-300 silicon solar cell is based on a unique rear-contact design that maximizes the working cell area, hides unsightly wires and simplifies automated production.
analogZONE, an on-line engineering magazine, selected the A-300 as a winner in this year’s competition, which recognizes outstanding electronic components, software, design tools, and other products used by the design engineering community. The analogZONE awards program, now in its third year, selects products in seven categories, including one for environmentally oriented, or “green” technologies. The editors at analogZONE select the winners based on technical innovation, performance and commercial viability of the products. The award will be formally presented to the company in February.
“SunPower’s A-300 silicon solar cell has the potential to accelerate the economics of the photovoltaic industry and hasten the day when solar power can compete directly with fossil fuel-based generating systems,” said Lee Goldberg, senior editor at analogZONE. “By cutting the collector area required to produce a given amount of power by up to 50 percent, these cells will also enable applications on smaller rooftops and other space-constrained areas which were previously impractical for solar-electric generation. SunPower’s achievements are an excellent example of how technology, entrepreneurial spirit and environmental stewardship can work together to create an exciting future where there’s more ‘green’ in our world, as well as on our bottom lines.”
“We are honored to receive this award from the analogZONE staff—the seventh award of its kind for SunPower,” said Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corp. “This award is a tribute to SunPower’s innovative design, high-efficiency and low manufacturing costs, all of which help our customers—the companies that design and build solar modules—to create superior products at a cost capable of accelerating the rate of conversion to clean, solar solutions.”
Unlike conventional solar cells, SunPower’s A-300 incorporates all electrical contacts on the back surface. This architecture allows for significantly higher conversion efficiency of light to electricity, and also eliminates unsightly reflective front-side contacts. With rated efficiency greater than 20 percent, the A-300 can deliver up to 50 percent more energy from a given roof area compared with traditional solar products.
analogZONE (www.analogzone.com) is an independent technical publication, serving electronics design engineers. Its seven sub-ZONEs provide up-to date technical information and analysis of developments in power engineering, audio/video, data acquisition and sensors, HF/RF, I/O, networking and communications, and green engineering. News headlines and a calendar of events keep readers current, knowledgeable and informed. In deeper detail, technical and application notes, product reviews, and guest editorials—along with trenchant commentary by Editor-in-Chief Paul McGoldrick and other ZONE editors—offer a wealth of information in an independent arena free from manufacturer or distributor bias or the limitations of print publication.
SunPower—a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY)—designs and manufactures high-performance silicon solar cells based on an interdigitated rear-contact design. SunPower’s latest A-300 solar cell achieves more than 20 percent efficiency compared with currently available cells in the 12 to 15 percent range. The A-300 cell was developed and manufactured in SunPower’s Round Rock, Texas facility that began operation in January 2003. The company’s initial products, introduced in 1992, were high-concentration solar cells with an efficiency of 26 percent. SunPower also manufactures a 22 percent efficient solar cell called Pegasus, which is the highest-efficiency non-concentrating silicon solar cell commercially available. An early application for the highly-efficient and lightweight Pegasus solar cell was a high-altitude solar-powered aircraft. Pilotless solar-powered airplanes and blimps, which are nearing commercialization, can stay at a set altitude indefinitely and serve as telecommunications platforms over populated areas. SunPower solar cells were used on the NASA-sponsored AeroVironment airplane, “Helios,” that flew to a record altitude of 96,863 feet on August 13, 2001. For more information on SunPower or solar technology, please visit the SunPower website at http://www.sunpowercorp.com.
Cypress and the Cypress logo are registered trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.
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