German Researchers Break Solar Cell Efficiency Record

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A new year, a new solar cell efficiency record is broken. German researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems have built a solar cell with 41.1% efficiency, besting the previous record of 40.8% efficiency set by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The three-layer gallium-indium-phosphide, gallium-indium-arsenide, and germanium cell broke the record when researchers concentrated sunlight onto it 454 times.

The cell’s materials are expensive compared to silicon, but are significantly more efficient. This makes the Fraunhofer metamorphic triple-junction cell a candidate for concentrated solar installations, which require fewer materials than traditional installations.

Companies currently working on concentrated solar installations include SolFocus and Concentrix.

Photo Credit: Fraunhofer ISE

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