--Conversion Efficiencies Independently Verified by the Fraunhofer InstituteSAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, March 27, 2009 /PRNewswire-Asia via COMTEX/ -- Suntech Power
Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) module
manufacturer, today announced that it is routinely utilizing the Pluto
technology to produce PV cells with conversion efficiencies of approximately
19% on mono-crystalline PV cells and 17% on multi-crystalline PV cells.
Suntech recently sent a number of Pluto PV cells to the Fraunhofer
Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany for third party verification.
The Fraunhofer Institute test results included a mono-crystalline Pluto PV
cell with a conversion efficiency of 18.8% and a multi-crystalline Pluto PV
cell with a conversion efficiency of 17.2%. Both PV cells were produced on
Suntech's 34MW Pluto production line utilizing solar grade silicon wafers.
Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech's Chief Technology Officer said, "We are very
excited about the performance of the Pluto technology. We are consistently
achieving around 19% conversion efficiency on Pluto mono-crystalline PV cells
and around 17% on Pluto multi-crystalline PV cells in large scale production,
compared to 16.5% and 15.5% respectively using conventional screen-printed
Dr. Wenham added, "The ability of the Pluto technology to significantly
improve the conversion efficiency of both mono and multi-crystalline silicon
PV cells is one of its unique characteristics. This will give Suntech the
flexibility to offer a complete range of high efficiency solar products. In
particular, we believe that Suntech's multi-crystalline Pluto modules will be
one of the most efficient multi-crystalline silicon PV modules in commercial
scale production world-wide."
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO said, "Pluto delivers on the
key requirements of the solar industry -- high efficiency, high stability, and
high power output -- without utilizing higher grades of silicon. With
Pluto-enabled Suntech products, our customers will realize improvements in
space utilization and reduced balance of system costs, without increasing the
cost of production, making Pluto well suited to commercial scale production
and roof top applications."
The patent-pending Pluto technology is based on the PERL technology,
developed by the University of NSW in Australia, which has achieved a world
record efficiency of 25% in the laboratory. Pluto should improve power output
by approximately 12% above conventional screen-printed PV cells. Unique
texturing technology, with lower reflectivity, ensures more sunlight can be
absorbed throughout the day even without direct solar radiation, and thinner
metal lines on the top surface reduces shading loss. Suntech's Pluto
technology can be applied to a variety of grades of silicon to suit multiple
applications and product types.
Dr. Shi added, "The commercialization of the Pluto technology is the
result of years of world-class research and development and is a milestone
achievement for Suntech. With over 350 professionals in our R&D team spanning
three countries, technology is a central element of our strategy to drive the
cost of solar towards grid parity without incentives. Aside from developing
high conversion efficiency PV cells, our R&D team is also engaged in the
development of new solar applications and building integrated products,
material and component optimization, encapsulation technology, and power
output optimization and stabilization."
Suntech anticipates ongoing enhancement of the Pluto technology and
targets to achieve 20% conversion efficiency on mono-crystalline PV cells and
18% on multi-crystalline PV cells within the next two years. Suntech currently
has a fully operational 34MW Pluto PV cell line and targets to have a total of
100MW installed Pluto capacity within the next two months. Suntech expects to
receive industry certification for Pluto PV modules in the second quarter of
2009 and targets to ship more than 50MW of Pluto modules in 2009. "Pluto" is a
trademark of Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is the world's leading solar
energy company as measured by production output of solar modules. Suntech
designs, develops, manufactures, and markets premium-quality, high-output,
cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar products for electric power
applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and public utility
sectors. Suntech's patent-pending Pluto technology for crystalline silicon
solar cells improves power output by up to 12% compared to conventional
Suntech also offers one of the broadest ranges of building-integrated
solar products under the MSK Solar Design Line(TM). Suntech designs and
delivers commercial and utility scale solar power systems through its wholly
owned subsidiaries Suntech Energy Solutions and Suntech Energy Engineering and
will own and operate projects greater than 10 megawatts in the United States
through Gemini Solar Development Company, a joint venture with MMA Renewable
Ventures. With regional headquarters in China, Switzerland and the United
States and sales offices worldwide, Suntech is passionate about improving the
environment we live in and dedicated to developing advanced solar solutions
that enable sustainable development. For more information, please visit
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements
constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can
be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates,"
"future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements,
and includes Suntech's ability to produce PV cells with an average conversion
efficiency of close to 17% using multi-crystalline silicon wafers and close to
19% using mono-crystalline silicon wafers; Suntech's ability to install 100MW
of Pluto capacity within the next two months; Suntech's ability to improve
Pluto conversion efficiency to 20% on mono-crystalline PV cells and 18% on
multi-crystalline PV cells using solar grade silicon wafers; the timing of the
receipt of industry certification for Pluto PV cells and modules; and the
targeted shipment volume of Pluto modules in 2009. Such statements involve
certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information
regarding these and other risks is included in Suntech's filings with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F.
Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking
statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except
as required under applicable law.
For further information, please contact:
Investor Relations Director
In the United States:
The Piacente Group, Inc. (Investor Relations Counsel, Suntech)
Sanjay M. Hurry
SOURCE Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.