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Soitec Launches New Solar-energy Module Featuring 31.8% Efficiency - The Highest Of Any Commercial Module Being Mass Produced Today

GRENOBLE, France, September 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Soitec (Euronext), a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, today announced its newest concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) module featuring a record power-generating efficiency of 31.8 percent. Soitec's new module, which is already in industrial volume production, has the highest efficiency of any commercial product available for multi-megawatt installations.

Using an optimized anti-reflective coating, Soitec's CX-M500 module increases nominal peak power output over previous generations from 2,335 W p to 2,450 W p. The new module has been certified according to the International Electrotechnical Commission ' s (IEC) and Underwriters Laboratories '  (UL) standards ( IEC  62108, IEC  62688, UL  62108 and UL  SU  8703), confirming that it meets product safety, performance and reliability requirements in both the US and European markets.

" With this new product, Soitec is continuing to raise the bar for solar-power efficiency and, looking ahead, the potential for further improvement is significant, " said Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec's Solar Energy Division. " Based on our current work in solar-cell development, we are well positioned to achieve even higher module efficiencies in the near future. With our newest commercial modules and their higher efficiencies, we are delivering on our cost-competitiveness roadmap. "

Additionally Soitec's new module complies with the California Solar Initiative, so power-plant installations using it can qualify for performance-based incentives from the California Energy Commission (CEC). The module also bears the CE mark, indicating its compliance with the relevant European Union directives, regulations and standards.

Using Soitec's proven Concentrix™ technology, each Soitec CPV module comprises a Fresnel lens plate and a bottom plate on which high-performance solar cells are mounted. The Fresnel lenses focus sunlight concentrated by a factor of 500 on the solar cells beneath. The cells are precisely mounted on the bottom plate, enabling the focused sunbeam to align perfectly with the tiny solar cells. In constructing its modules, Soitec uses elements from the circuit board and dual pane window industries, which are both cost effective and have been proven reliable over many years.

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