Trina Solar, Roth & Rau, Day4 Develop Energy-Efficient Panels

Trina Solar Ltd. developed a solar unit with “record” output, and Roth & Rau AG and Day4 Energy Inc. created a module with increased power efficiency as cell makers compete to produce greater energy at lower cost.

The module made by Roth & Rau and Day4 has a 19.3 percent efficiency, a gauge of the amount of sunlight converted into power, Day4 said in a statement today. Changzhou, China-based Trina said its panel had peak output of 274 watts and set a “world record,” according to a statement on its website.

The output would give a cell-level efficiency of about 18.7 percent, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst.

Cell makers are seeking to squeeze more power from panels to generate electricity at lower cost. Modules are typically 14 to 15 percent efficient, meaning the latest announcements from Day4 Energy and Trina Solar are “incrementally positive news,” said Aaron Chew, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC. in New York.

“They need to keep demonstrating their ability to improve efficiency,” Chew said. “The key question is how much they cost.”

Agnieszka Pozniak, a spokeswoman for Vancouver-based Day4, said it was too early to give a price as the module isn’t yet ready for production. The company previously made units with 14.7 percent efficiency and now licenses its technology to other panel makers rather than building its own products, she said.

Trina Solar didn’t give a price for its module and Thomas Young, a company spokesman, didn’t respond to requests for comment sent by e-mail and left by voicemail message.

Roth & Rau is based in Hohenstein, Germany.

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