Solarmer Energy broke the world record for plastic cell efficiency last year. Now, they’ve just broken it again.
The new efficiency record is 7.6% and it breaks 7% for the first time.
The previous record set by Solarmer in 2008 was 6.77%. It was the first time efficiency had gotten above 5%. Now, within just a few years of opening, Solarmer has nearly doubled plastic solar cell efficiency.
The new efficiency record is considerably lower than the record for all solar cells, but these plastic solar cells have benefits in that they cost much less than traditional silicon ones and may be applicable in industries and devices that silicon cells cannot enter, especially some portable technological devices.
Dr. Gang Li, vice president of technology development at Solarmer, says: “Breaking the 7% efficiency barrier for organic photovoltaics is a huge accomplishment for Solarmer and the organic photovoltaic (OPV) industry.”
The new world record was independently certified by Newport Corporation’s Technology and Applications Center’s Photovoltaic (TAC-PV) Lab. Dr. Ruben Zadoyan, director of technology and applications at the Center of Newport Corporation, says: “We are pleased that Newport’s recently launched certified PV lab is helping Solarmer in achieving outstanding results in efficiency. Our collaboration in material research and certified testing is a great example of how two very different companies can benefit by working together.”
The plastic solar cells are expected to be available next year. Solarmer Energy plans to “expand on this technology at the 2009 Solar Power International conference in Anaheim, California from the 27-29 October.”
This seems to be a great step in the solar industry and if Solarmer continues on in the same way, perhaps we will see another world record set in this field soon!
Image Credit: James Jordan via flickr under a Creative Commons license