Panasonic has made the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel

Panasonic has made the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel

It hopes to begin shipping the panels in mid-2016.

SolarCity has developed a rooftop solar panel, which the company claimed has a module efficiency exceeding 22 percent, generating more power per square foot and harvesting more energy over a year than any other rooftop panel in production, and will be the highest volume solar panel manufactured in the Western Hemisphere.

Last Friday, SolarCity announced that it had made a breakthrough in solar panel technology and would be creating high efficiency and low-priced solar panels.

Panasonic's commercial-sized prototype achieves a conversion efficiency of 22.5 percent. 

"The new panel efficiency record demonstrates once again the Panasonic's ongoing commitment to move the needle in advanced solar technology", Daniel Roca, senior business developer at Panasonic Eco Solutions Europe, said in a statement.

Crystalline silicon solar cells are less efficient than other technology, and it's unlikely they're going to get much better than they are now, with only small percentage gains being made over the past decade.

The company's record-breaking module has been developed using a 72 cell 270W prototype and unlike SolarCity's panel, which makes use of standard solar cell, Panasonic uses thin-layer solar cells to achieve optimum efficiency.

Panasonic was also unable to give a date for when its panels would be used in commercial solar panels.

The top performance of the average solar panel is typically anywhere from 15 to 17%, but SolarCity says that its new panels with improved efficiency can produce between 30 to 40% more power than their competitor's panels of equal size. However, it did say it's planning for a mid- to late-2016 release time.

The panel's 22.5% conversion efficiency was verified by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and builds upon the 25.6% efficiency record the company set in 2014 at cell level.

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