San Jose-based SunPower inks joint venture in China

San Jose-based SunPower announced Monday it has signed a joint venture agreement with three partners in China: TZS, Inner Mongolia Power and Hohhot City. The deal, if approved by the Chinese government, allows SunPower to manufacture and deploy its C7 Tracker systems in Inner Mongolia.

Under the terms of the agreement, SunPower will invest $15 million in the $60 million join venture for a 25 percent ownership stake.

Chinese manufacturers like Suntech, Trina and Yingli dominate the photovoltaic solar industry, and manufacturers like SunPower, which is majority-owned by French oil giant Total, have been struggling to cut costs.

But China itself is expected to become a booming solar market as China turns from making solar panels to installing them.

“We believe that we can deploy significant volumes of C7 power plants to help serve China’s growing need for clean power,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner in a statement. “We also expect that this venture will facilitate the development of a low cost, high volume C7 supply chain and accelerate our C7 cost reduction road map.”


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  • Well, as you can see from this video, the cells are unspeakably ieiffecinnt, and produce only 1.5 milliVolts. A car battery needs 12 volts. You do the math. The other issue you face is Amperage; the cell only put out 15.5 milliAmps, and a car requires 2 Amps. If you do the math, you’ll realize that´╗┐ either you’ll get too low of a voltage or too high of an amperage; to get the right numbers you have to wire the cells up differently; as in, wire them in series or in parallel.