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Suntech Achieves World Record Conversion Efficiency for a Multi-Crystalline Module

Posted on 2009-08-19

WUXI, China, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's leading manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules, today announced that it has achieved a new world record conversion efficiency of 15.6% on a commercial grade multi-crystalline silicon PV module. This conversion efficiency surpasses the previous record of 15.5% (aperture area only) set by Sandia National Labs 15 years ago. The multi-crystalline module conversion efficiency was independently tested by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany.

Suntech's world record breaking multi-crystalline silicon module is powered by Pluto PV cells utilizing solar grade silicon with each PV cell having a conversion efficiency well over 17%. The previous record was based on an aperture area or frameless module. In contrast, Suntech's new world record efficiency includes the framed area, without which Suntech believes it would achieve a conversion efficiency of well over 16%.

The world record conversion efficiency was accepted by the scientific journal Progress in Photovoltaics (PIP), which offers a prestigious forum for reporting advances in the PV industry. Professor Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and member of the PIP committee, said, "Improving the conversion efficiency of multi-crystalline silicon modules has proven particularly challenging and this is a very impressive achievement for such a large module from a commercial supplier. I can confirm that the 15.6% multi-crystalline module result is the highest known conversion efficiency measured by a PIP-recognized test center."

Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech's Chief Technology Officer, said, "This is a tremendous result for Suntech and clearly demonstrates the power and versatility of the Pluto technology, which can be applied to both mono and multi-crystalline wafers. The fact that this module was produced on our commercial scale production lines using regular solar grade silicon is of particular note. The best news is that we believe there is still room for plenty more improvement in Pluto as we push the boundaries of technology development to bring more powerful and reliable solar products to market."

Suntech has initiated commercial shipments of Pluto powered modules and currently expects to ship 10MW to 15MW of Pluto products in 2009.

About the Fraunhofer Institute

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society. By developing technological innovations and novel systems solutions for their customers, the Fraunhofer Institutes help to reinforce the competitive strength of the economy in their region, throughout Germany and in Europe. Their research activities are aimed at promoting the economic development of our industrial society, with particular regard for social welfare and environmental compatibility. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's research work is oriented toward concrete applications and results. Pure basic research, as practiced at universities, is funded to almost 100% by public grants. Industrial R&D, up to prototype level, is largely financed by private enterprise. For more information please visit http://www.fraunhofer.de .

About Progress in Photovoltaics

Progress in Photovoltaics offers a prestigious forum for reporting advances in this rapidly developing technology, right through from research to practical application, and aims to reach all interested professionals, researchers, and energy policy-makers. The journal's Editorial Board is drawn from many countries with a deliberate balance of interests between research, industrial development and practical operation of PV systems, and plays an essential role in the refereeing of contributions. Contributions in the form of Full Papers and Short Communications are invited on the full range of PV topics and concerns. All submissions are rigorously peer reviewed. For more information, please visit http://as.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-PIP.html .

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