A recognised leader in photovoltaic technology innovation, SunPower is proud to have recently earned a Chinese Invention Patent (CN 108091705) for our proprietary and fundamental shingled solar cell manufacturing method. It is a further proof point for this technology, which already has received 11 U.S. patents and numerous other published patents and patent applications in Australia, Korea, Europe and Japan.
While not our first Chinese patent, it is the first one to recognise our Performance Series solar panel technology. Our P-19 solar panel architecture leverages a unique cell interconnect technology developed by Silicon Valley-based Cogenra Solar. We acquired Cogenra in 2015 and introduced our Performance Series solar panels that same year.
Today, after years of testing, deployment and certification, we now have more than 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of Performance Series manufacturing capacity, with production at our plant in Hillsboro, Ore., and at the facility of our joint venture partner DZS in Yixing, China. We have plans to expand our capacity to 5 GW in the coming years, thanks to strong customer demand around the globe. Our Performance Series solar panels are currently being installed at power plants, commercial locations and homes.
Using conventional mono-PERC solar cells, SunPower's Performance Series panels outperform conventional panels in efficiency, performance and reliability. PERC, passivated emitter and rear contact technology, defines an architecture that differs from a standard solar cell.
SunPower's panels have:
- Robust shingled cells and advanced encapsulant that are highly resistant to thermal stresses, humidity and potential induced degradation (PID);
- Unique parallel circuitry to mitigate hotspots and increase energy production in shade or soiling conditions; and
- Minimal whitespace and no ribbons to maximise efficiency, lower balance of system cost and increase cell flexibility.
Performance Series panels are currently the most deployed shingled cell solar panels in the world and are highly reliable. For the second year running, DNV GL, a global independent energy expert and certification body, named the Performance Series solar panels a top performer in all five DNV GL tests that measured reliability through thermal cycling, damp heat, humidity-freeze, dynamic mechanical load and PID.
We're proud to add our new Chinese Invention Patent to a list of more than 1,000 patents worldwide, thanks to the work of SunPower's design and engineering teams, and we look forward to many more to come.