September 12, 2013 - Soitec today announced its newest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) module featuring a record power-generating efficiency of 31.8 percent.
Using an optimized anti-reflective coating, Soitec's CX-M500 module increases nominal peak power output over previous generations from 2,335Wp to 2,450Wp. The new module has been certified according to the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) and Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) standards (IEC 62108, IEC 62688, UL 62108 and UL SU 8703).
"With this new product, Soitec is continuing to raise the bar for solar-power efficiency and, looking ahead, the potential for further improvement is significant," said Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec's Solar Energy Division. "Based on our current work in solar-cell development, we are well positioned to achieve even higher module efficiencies in the near future. With our newest commercial modules and their higher efficiencies, we are delivering on our cost-competitiveness roadmap."
Additionally Soitec's new module complies with the California Solar Initiative, so power-plant installations using it can qualify for performance-based incentives from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The module also bears the CE mark, indicating its compliance with the relevant European Union directives, regulations and standards.
Using Soitec's proven Concentrix technology, each Soitec CPV module comprises a Fresnel lens plate and a bottom plate on which solar cells are mounted. The Fresnel lenses focus sunlight concentrated by a factor of 500 on the solar cells beneath. The cells are precisely mounted on the bottom plate, enabling the focused sunbeam to align perfectly with the tiny solar cells. In constructing its modules, Soitec uses elements from the circuit board and dual pane window industries.
Soitec recently announced the signature of a performance-warranty insurance contract with Munich Re, which will ease financing of solar projects using the company's CPV modules.