The newest solar panel made by SolarCity is the most efficient rooftop solar panel ever made, according to the company. During third-party testing, the panel was able to produce solar power with 22.04% efficiency.
The new models are even the same size as those currently available today, but can generate 30-40% more electricity.
Right now, rooftop solar panels run with an efficiency of only 11-15%.
That’s not the only record that the panel could break, since SolarCity wants to manufacture them at rates that no one has ever accomplished before. The company will build them at their 1 GW solar factory in Buffalo, New York, where they will be able to make 9,000 to 10,000 panels a day.
The company has also pioneered a new production process that will allow them to build the more efficient units for the same price as those being made today.
There is also a small pilot facility located in Fremont, California, where they will start making small batches of rooftop panels by next month. Most of the units made there will be used for special projects where power is scarce, such as in urban areas where there is not a lot of rooftop to work with and people need more energy in general.
SolarCity’s Vice President Jonathan Bass told TreeHugger’s Margaret Badore that the Buffalo, New York factory will likely be at full production capacity by 2017.
The company’s customers typically don’t pay for installation or equipment, so initially, the savings cost on the manufacturing will not affect residential solar users just yet. However, Bass explains that “long-term, we’re hopefully we can lower the cost to the customer, or at least offer solar power in more places than we do today”.
SolarCity will be holding a press conference with Elon Musk later today in New York.
Image (c) SolarCity