Actor, author and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr. is ready to power up his newly constructed eco-friendly home with Panasonic HIT solar panels. Mr. Begley is known for his roles in the series “St. Elsewhere” and the films “Pineapple Express” and “This Is Spinal Tap.” He is building “the Greenest Home in America,” a LEED-certified residence on an oak-lined lot in Studio City, California, which is being filmed for his Web series “On Begley Street.” HIT technology—embedded in the solar panels on Mr. Begley’s roof--holds a world’s record for solar conversion efficiency.
HIT stands for "heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer," and the solar cells used are a hybrid with a unique structure comprised of a thin mono-crystalline silicon wafer surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicon layers. HIT solar modules are known for having one of the world’s highest conversion efficiencies and excellent temperature characteristics, allowing HIT modules to generate more power throughout the year, even during peak summer months, compared to other types of crystalline modules.
New world’s record for solar efficiency
Panasonic announced in March it had broken a world record for solar efficiency when it achieved a 23.8% conversion efficiency rate for a PV module in a research lab. The new record was achieved by further development on Panasonic's proprietary heterojunction technology for high-efficiency solar cells and modules adopting a back-contact solar cell structure.
Panasonic recently announced its intention to grow with the addition of larger HIT solar panels into North America's fast-growing residential solar market. Panasonic also announced its extended product warranty, bringing increased value to installers and end users across North America in 2016.
"North America is one of the fastest growing markets for renewable energy in the world and solar is expected to drive a significant percentage of that growth over the next several years," said Panasonic Eco Solutions Company North America President Dan Silver. "Panasonic's commitment to residential solar in North America has never been stronger. By offering our customers an affordable way to reduce their energy bills and their carbon footprint with one of the most efficient, highest-performing solar solutions on the market, we're perfectly positioned to meet this growing demand." Learn about Panasonic solar technology for homeowners.
Panasonic has been in the solar market since 1975 when it started research and development into amorphous solar cells. By 1990, it began research and development on HIT solar technology, and not long after started mass production and sales of HIT solar panels. By 2014, it had produced 1 billion HIT solar cells.