Solar Cell Efficiency

“Golden Sandwich” Photoelectrode Harvests 85% Of Sunlight

Scientists at the Research Institute for Electronic Science at Hokkaido University have created what they call a “golden sandwich,” a photoelectrode that captures 85% of sunlight and uses it to split water and thus crate hydrogen. Yes, this is experimental stuff, and no, it has not yet reached commercial production. But stop and think for a minute what that could mean to the renewable energy revolution.

How Efficient Will Solar PV Be In The Future? 10-Year Predictions For The Industry

If you were to walk into a solar store and purchase some of their best-selling PV panels, it is likely that their solar irradiance-to-electricity conversion efficiency would be around 17%. This is the typical efficiency (Fraunhofer ISE Photovoltaics Report, 2017) of the top-selling PV product, a multi-crystalline silicon panel. This means that for a typical panel, 17% of all incident solar energy is converted directly to usable electricity. This is quite impressive for a device that has no moving parts and can generate power at the location where the electricity is required (no transmission losses). It is no wonder that PV is already one of the cheapest power technologies available.