The stampede of positive earnings reports keep coming from the solar industry even as analysts worry about demand taking a downward turn next year.

Our latest blowout comes from Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ), which reported a revenue jump of 77% to $377.2 million in the third quarter. The firm made more of its own solar cells, helping gross margin improve to 17.3% from 13.6% last quarter and pushing more profit to the bottom line. Wall Street was most surprised by earnings per share, which jumped to $0.47, beating expectations of $0.43 and pushing shares higher.

But the week wasn't without its pitfalls for solar as SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWRA) was beaten down after announcing revenue guidance below expectations. The company sees revenue between $2.65 billion to $2.85 billion, but Wall Street was expecting $2.87 billion. It seems a little harsh considering expected earnings per share was in line with expectations.

Concentrate a little harder
But SunPower's biggest move might have been the concentrator system that the company thinks is a "game changer." The strange-looking device takes sunlight and bounces it onto a thin solar strip on each panel, reducing the amount of solar cell needed to collect sunlight. The device will see a beta deployment next year with possible production in 2012. If the new panels perform as expected, SunPower expects it to lower the levelized cost of energy up to 20% versus competing panels.

SunPower operates on the high-efficiency end of the spectrum and justifies a price premium over competitors like First Solar's (Nasdaq: FSLR) thin film panels with lower installation costs. If this solar concentrator is successful, it could bring SunPower's costs down closer to Chinese competitors like Solarfun (Nasdaq: SOLF) and Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL), which have a distinct advantage right now.

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Fool contributor Travis Hoium is long shares of FSLR and SPWRA. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.

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