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Nikkei: Panasonic Creates New Record In Solar Cell Efficiency

Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic Corp.'s (PC) prototype solar cell has achieved the world's highest conversion efficiency at 24.7 percent, Nikkei reported citing the tests performed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

This exceeds the previous record of 24.2 percent held by U.S. firm SunPower Corp. (SPWRA,SPWRB,SPWR), which is still considered as the world's highest by Progress in Photovoltaics, a well-known publication in the area of solar energy research.

The surface membrane of the Panasonic prototype allows more sunlight to pass through. Additionally, its electrodes transfer electricity more efficiently. The company plans to commercialize the prototype and enhance the conversion efficiency of its mass-market solar cells that now stands at 21.6 percent.

While Panasonic's solar cell business has been profitable, it sees a tough business environment ahead. In order to boost profitability, it aims to develop more efficient solar cells that focus on household products that offer more price stability compared to other uses.

Panasonic is also working on lowering its solar cell production costs by 20 percent. This is expected to be achieved by way of manufacturing them at a plant in Malaysia. The firm also plans to use more of parts made outside its home country.

PC closed down 5.4 percent on Friday at 716 yen.

by RTT Staff Writer

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