In what I believe is the first large order for concentrator modules, Silicon Valley Solar, Santa Clara, CA, has received a $35 million order for 10MW of Sol-X2 solar panels from Pacific Power Management of Auburn, California, a solar system integrator. Shipments will begin in the first quarter of 2008, with a linear delivery schedule over a three year period.
SV Solar's Sol-X2 products are high efficiency, low cost flat plate modules utilizing a unique "internal" concentrator. The modules require less than half the number of solar cells when compared to traditional solar modules, while producing equivalent or even higher power output. This reduces cost while enabling higher volume production given a fixed supply of silicon. Solar cells currently account for up to 75% of the total module cost, and with the current shortage of refined silicon, are a limiting factor on the total production of solar modules.
The modules are dimensionally and electrically equivalent to standard flat plate modules without the need for a complex tracking mechanism. The "compatible" form-factor of these modules enables traditional installation, and the lack of moving parts provides the long-term reliability the solar industry demands.