Clean Power

Published on October 31st, 2012 | by James Ayre


New Solar Module Efficiency Record Set, 33.5% Efficiency

October 31st, 2012 by  

A new solar photovoltaic efficiency record has been set. The new module achieved a solar efficiency rating of 33.5%.


One of the leading concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems companies, Amonix Inc., just announced that it has broken the efficiency record for photovoltaics operating in real-world conditions. Setting a new high with a 33.5% efficiency rating, peaking at 34.2%. That means that the solar module successfully converted more than a third of the energy of direct sunlight into electricity.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tested the module back in May, confirming “an outdoor operating efficiency rating of 33.5% for an Amonix module, breaking the previous 30.3% record also held by Amonix. Over several days of on-sun testing conducted by NREL, the module efficiency peaked at 34.2%. This is the highest efficiency ever reported under real-world, operating conditions for a solar PV module,” a news release has just stated.

“While the mainstream PV industry has made critical reductions in large-scale production costs and incremental improvements in power-conversion efficiencies, much of the world is unaware of the dramatic progress that has been made by CPV companies toward achieving high power-conversion efficiencies”

“This is a huge milestone for Amonix and the CPV industry,” said Vahan Garboushian, Amonix Founder and CTO. “We have been at the forefront of CPV technology breakthroughs and have consistently proven that CPV offers the highest efficiencies of all solar technologies in the right operating conditions with plenty of headroom. Amonix is focused on driving CPV costs down and breaking efficiency records in the near future.”

Achieving an efficiency greater than 33.3% for a commercial module is a huge milestone. That efficiency, one-third, has been targeted by the Department of Energy as a major goal for some time.

Source: Business Wire
Image Credits: CPV

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • tibor strausz

    33.5% is much more than what i can buy in the shop (around 18%) how long will it take to get these panels? it would be great to get twice the output!!!

  • Nathan,

    Do we know if this is using a tracking system, or not?


    • Yes, they use a tracking system. Amonix uses fresnel lenses to concentrate the Sun on multijunction solar cells. Each array is the size of an I-Max screen. Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) only works well in sunny climates such as the southwestern United States.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Tracking doesn’t have any effect on efficiency. It only effects the number of solar hours per day an installed panel produces.

        Focusing lenses are used in order to get more overall sunlight to the cell. Higher efficiency cells are quite expensive and make economic sense only when used in concentrating systems (or in space where lift costs are high).
        Concentrating systems work wherever there is sunlight.

        • tibi stibi

          clear, and what is the extra costs of these high efficiency cells? is it the investigation costs which needs to be covered or is it the matirial cost?
          if its the fist the cost will go down in time if its the second it will go up (when rare materials get scarser)

          • not sure… but good, succinct point. i’m sure we’ll get a better picture of this if/when they move closer to commercialization.

        • concentrating systems only offer their maximum advantage when they are 100% dead on….it’s not like simple additional exposure…..but it sure would be nice to not need the acreage for 4000 panels to get one MW….

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