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SunPower Corporation designs and manufactures high-efficiency silicon solar cells, roof tiles and solar panel based on a silicon all-back-contact solar cell invented at Stanford Universitymarker. SunPower Corporation is publicly traded on the NASDAQ as SPWRA and SPWRB.

History

In January 2007, SunPower corporation acquired PowerLight Corporation, a leading global provider of large-scale solar power systems .

Cells

SunPower 125mm-wide single-crystal silicon solar cells are based on a rear-contact design that eliminates front-side metallization, maximizes the working cell area, eliminates redundant wires and makes automated production easier. Forming the junction at the rear of the cell, combined with a clever surface treatment, allows it to trap and convert much more of the available photons into mobile electrons - yielding a jump in efficiency. The cell employs several other tricks to boost efficiency, including an oxide passivation layer on the backside to deny regions for unwanted hole-electron recombination.

Installations

SunPower has recently announced a number of projects around the world that utilize its patented solar tracker technology. The company maintains a market-leading position in Spain with more than 61 megawatts installed or under construction; recently completed a 2.2-megawatt solar power plant in Mungyeongmarker, Korea; and the largest solar installation in the U.S., the 15-megawatt Nellis Solar Power Plantmarker in Nevada.

On October 6, 2008, Agilent Technologies Inc. and SunPower Corporation announced that a 1-megawatt solar tracking system at Agilent's campus will start producing electricity in mid-October. The system features a parking lot canopy structure with nearly 3,500 SunPower solar panels that track the sun throughout the day. The design of SunPower's tracking solar system will generate up to 25 percent more energy for Agilent than a similarly sized flat, rooftop system, the company said. As a result, Agilent's solar parking canopy is the largest solar energy generator in Sonoma Countymarker, California.

SunPower donated the solar cells for the NASAmarker/AeroVironment Pathfinder-Plus high-altitude UAV, which then set an altitude record of for solar-powered and propeller-driven aircraft.

Retail renewable electricity

SunPower has announced that it plans to compete with retail electric rates by reducing system cost by 50% by 2012 .

See also



References

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