In mid-2015, SunPower acquired the solar technology manufacturer Cogenra to help build a new line of modules designed with international markets in mind.
Cogenra has evolved considerably over the years, starting with hybrid PV-thermal systems, moving into low-concentrating PV, and then eventually pursuing module manufacturing using a stacking method for cells that boosts efficiency 15 percent by eliminating connective wires. Cogenra also produces single-axis trackers.
Both the tracker team and the module technology team at Cogenra are fully integrated into SunPower. The p-type multicrystalline cells and modules, called the Performance Series, are being produced at a SunPower facility in Milpitas, California.
In the case of the P-Series, the front end of production is unique. That’s where the cells are soldered on top of one another and bonded to create an interconnection. SunPower’s flexible production lines, called a Universal Modco, allow for simple integration, said Werner.
Of the 4 gigawatts of module production that SunPower plans to have on-line in 2019, 2 gigawatts will be the higher-efficiency P-Series based on Cogenra’s technology.
Another firm, Solaria announced on May 26, 2016, that it has introduced its PowerXT 330Wp and 400Wp modules optimized for residential and commercial rooftops respectively– offering best-in-class efficiency for this rapidly-growing sector of the clean energy market. Solaria’s high output modules are built on the company’s proprietary technology – which utilizes an advanced cell interconnect and module production processes. Solaria modules significantly boost power generation while eliminating reliability challenges that can reduce conventional PV modules’ long-term performance.
To meet rapidly growing customer demand, Solaria has established a manufacturing partnership with SolarPark in Korea. This is in addition to Solaria’s module production capacity located in Fremont, California. Solaria will serve its customers in North America as well as select international markets with its high-performance PV modules from this Korean production facility.