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3 Solar Cell Efficiency Records In Just 4 Days

Improving efficiency of solar photovoltaic cells takes months, sometimes years. The last few days, however, have been very interesting as three different companies announced record-breaking efficiencies. Two of the cells even have the same technology.

Trina Solar, one of the leading solar PV modules manufacturers, announced on April 24 that it had set a new world record for high efficiency p-type multi-crystalline silicon PV modules. Trina Solar’s Honey Plus multi-crystalline silicon module reached a new module efficiency record of 19.14%. The efficiency was independently confirmed by the National Center of Supervision and Inspection on Solar Photovoltaic Product Quality (CPVT) in Wuxi, China.

On April 27, Germany-based Manz announced that it had achieved 16% efficiency in copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar modules. This efficiency was achieved in commercially mass-produced solar PV modules. Manz managed to transfer the 21.7% world-record efficiency it had achieved in laboratory cells in September last year. The efficiency of the modules was verified by TUV Rheinland.

On April 28, Taiwan-based TSMC Solar announced that it achieved efficiency of 16.5% in commercially produced CIGS modules, bettering the Manz’s record made the day before. TSMC also improved upon its own previous record of 15.7% efficiency, achieved in 2013. The efficiency record for TSMC modules was verified by TUV SUD.

All three efficiency records seem to be associated with mass-produced solar PV modules and there remains huge potential to further increase the efficiency. Trina Solar also holds the world record for efficiency for lab-based multi-crystalline silicon PV modules. That record currently stands at 20.8%.

For CIGS modules, it seems that First Solar and Manz jointly hold the record with 21.7% efficiency for modules produced in research labs.

 

 
 
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Written By

Smiti works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.

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