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Panasonic Receives Prestigious IEEE Corporate Innovation Award for Unique HIT Solar Technology

Panasonic was presented with the IEEE Corporate Innovation Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on June 30 at the IEEE Honors Ceremony held in Boston, Mass. Panasonic was cited "for developing and commercializing high-performance heterojunction solar technology (HIT)" by the IEEE, the world's largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.

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    Masato Ito, Executive Officer of Panasonic at IEEE award ceremony in Boston, USA

The IEEE Corporate Innovation Award, established in 1985, recognizes outstanding and exemplary contributions by an industrial entity, government or academic organization, or other corporate body, which have resulted in major advancement of the arts and science of electrotechnology. It is considered one of the most coveted awards in this field. A total of 37 different companies have previously received the award, including world-leading electrical manufacturers and IT companies. Panasonic has become the fifth Japanese company to receive this recognition.

Panasonic's HIT solar cells have a unique hybrid structure comprised of amorphous silicon and crystalline silicon, for which the company embarked on research and development in 1990. The company's efforts in developing solar cells to help solve the energy issue had started even earlier. In 1980, it became the first in the world to mass produce amorphous silicon solar cells, which were widely used as power source for electronic calculators, thereby contributing to the spread of solar cells. In 1997, Panasonic succeeded in commencing mass production of HIT solar cells and panels boasting the industry's highest-level power generation capability. HIT panels have earned acclaim for their high quality and power generation capability throughout the world.

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    Corporate Innovation Award (Photo credit: IEEE)

Today, HIT solar cells have achieved a conversion efficiency of 23.9% at R&D level and 21.6% at mass production level. The company now has a total production capacity of 600MW of HIT solar cells per year, meeting demand in the three major markets of Japan, Europe, and the U.S. With its new Malaysian factory - an integrated production site for wafers (slicing), cells, and panels - coming on stream by year-end, Panasonic is ready to handle robust global demand for solar cells.

Panasonic continues to strive to further the development of society, industry, and academia through its world-leading technologies, while contributing to the creation of a safe, secure, and prosperous society with its renewable energy and other environmental technologies.

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