SunPower X-Series Solar Panel Australia

Sunpower have released the X21 model of their X-Series solar panel and it’s now available Australia wide. These durable, efficient and performance-engineered SunPower X-Series solar panels are great if you have a limited amount of space on your roof and want to achieve maximum light-to-energy conversion from your panels! They’re far from the cheapest panel on the market, but if you’re looking at investing in something for the next 25 years in our experience choosing the lowest price when deciding on your solar investment is generally a false economy.

SunPower X-Series Solar Panels

According to the Sunpower site, their X-Series residential panels convert more sunlight to electricity by producing 38% more power per panel and 70% more energy per square meter over
25 years. This is in comparison to  a representative conventional panel: 250 watts, approx. 1.6 m², 15.3% efficiency. They’re available in the SPR-X21-345 which has a Nominal Power (Pnom) of 345 watts, and the SPR-X21-335, which has a Pnom of 335 watts.

Both panels utilise SunPower’s  ‘Maxeon technology’ – which is to say it’s the only solar cell on the market built on a solid copper foundation, making it ‘virtually impervious’ to the corrosion and cracking that inevitably degrade conventional solar panels. This allows SunPower to guarantee 95% efficiency for the first five years, with ~0.4% drops in efficiency per year for 20 years after that (making it a 25 year warranty).

The average panel efficiency of the SPR-X21-335 is 21.0% and the SPR-X21-345 boasts an impressive 21.5% light-to-energy ratio.

SunPower X-Series Solar Panel
SunPower X-Series Solar Panel (source:

Buy SunPower X-Series Solar Panels in Australia

Flex is now the exclusive distributor of SunPower in Australia – but you can click here to schedule a free home assessment directly from the Sunpower website. They also offer financing with no money down so there is an option for everyone.

Do you want more information about the SunPower X-Series Residential Solar Panels? Click to view the Spec Sheet!

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Kaneka Corporation create Solar Cell with record-breaking 26.3% efficiency.

Japanese chemical manufacturer Kaneka Corporation have created a solar cell with 26.3% photo conversion rate, a 2.7% efficiency increase on the previous record of 25.6%. This may not seem like much but it’s a little more impressive when you note that silicon based solar cells are currently thought to have a ‘theoretical limit’ for energy conversion. This means that no matter how good technology becomes, silcon will never break 29% – i.e. we’re starting to get closer to the ‘end-game’ of our optimisation of silicon solar cells (and need to start looking at alternatives, which is happening).

The technology was funded by a Japanese government program and develops “industrially compaible cells” by implementing layered silicon inside individual cells to minimise band gaps – this approach is called thin-film hetereojunction (HJ) optimisation. It’s not pioneered by Kaneka, but they have managed to optimise the technique by using low resistance electrodes at the rear of the cell and amorphous silicon with an anti-reflective layer on the top.

Kaneka Corporation Solar
Side view of a solar panel using layers of silicon through HJ (thin-film heterojunction) (courtesy of Kaneka Corporation)

The Kaneka Corporation, based in Osaka, haven’t begun mass production of the panel yet but we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as they’re available. The researchers, led by Mr Kunta Yoshikawa, published their findings in Nature Energy and noted that “further work is required before the individual cells can be assembled into a commercially available solar panel.”

26.3% isn’t the greatest photo conversion rate we’ve achieved but it is, to date, the highest commercially feasible result. In terms of theoretical results, back in 2014 researchers from UNSW Engineering managed to crack 40% by using a ‘solar tower’ with an optical bandpass filter.

In other news there has been a significant breakthrough – also at UNSW – with regards to high performance perovskite solar cells. Read our article on that to see how we could push solar technology further by using perovskite ‘liquid solar cells’ – one of the top 10 emerging technologies of 2016 (as per World Economic Forum)

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