csun-logoChina Sunergy, a leading manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells, has developed a new generation of high-efficient mono-crystalline cells which have reached a record 20.26% conversion efficiency.

The achievement was for a pilot R&D line of cells rather than commercial cells, but nevertheless it puts China Sunergy ahead of other Chinese PV manufacturers and, if translated into commercial cells, will help further drive down the cost of PV-produced electricity.

China Sunergy installed high-efficient mono-crystalline solar cell production lines with a capacity of 70MW, and a corresponding module production line with the capacity of 15MW in its newly completed R&D centre. The company plans to start commercial mass production by the end of this year.

While China’s PV industy has gone through a traumatic period of readjustment due to  excess capacity and tumbling prices, there’s little doubt that the Chinese are poised to completely dominate this  market— they already account for 7 out of every 10 solar panels manufactured in the world.

Western rivals may acuse the Chinese of price dumping and enjoying  unfair government subsidies, but the Chinese are also taking a lead on the technology front too, as this announcement shows.

According to a recent report from Lux Research, China has become the world leader in on PV research,  generating more intellectual property  in this area than the US.