Scientists at the University of New South Wales have set a new world record by creating the first silicon solar cell to achieve 25% efficiency.
Team leader, Prof. Martin Green of the university’s ARC Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence, says their world-beating solar cell is now a massive six percent more efficient than the next best technology. The record edges the current generation of solar cell technology closer to the theoretical limit of 29% efficiency.
The rise in efficiency is due to new knowledge about the composition of sunlight, leading to an improvement in the solar cell’s ability to capture more energy at the extremes of the solar light spectrum. According to Green, “These light-trapping features make our cells act as if they were much thicker than they are. This already has had an important spin-off in allowing us to work with CSG Solar to develop commercial ‘thin-film’ silicon-on-glass solar cells that are over 100 times thinner than conventional silicon cells.”
Negotiations for commercial production of the latest advancement are already underway, and could soon lead to a new generation of low cost, high energy output solar cells.
Image Credit – Samuele Storari via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license
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