solar efficiency

CdTe solar cells are the second-most common photovoltaic technology after silicon solar cells. In 2022, they represented about one-third of the U.S. utility-scale solar market. CdTe solar cells rely on a thin film of material to absorb light and convert it into electricity. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

In Ultrathin Layers, NREL Researchers Find A Path To Better Materials

Unexpected Crystalline Structure Explains Mechanism of Long-Used Solar Cell Treatment and Hints That Further Materials Discoveries Await For more than three decades, photovoltaic researchers have known that the addition of a single chemical — cadmium chloride — creates better-performing cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells. But they have not understood exactly … [continued]

NREL Intern Alyssa Boll looks at a 3D rendering of ventilation in a car in the 3D Visualization Lab at NREL. The laboratory's simulations and visualizations often rely on NREL's high-performance computing resources. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

The Top 20 NREL Stories Of 2022

Throughout 2022, researchers, staff, and leadership at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) worked together with collaborators and partners to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. As this busy year at NREL draws to a close, we look back at some of the laboratory’s … [continued]

New World Record for Tandem Polymer Solar Cell Efficiency

  “Scientists boosted the significance of tandem polymer solar cells by successfully testing cells with low-bandgap polymers that achieved certified conversion efficiencies of 8.62 ± 0.3% with respect to standard terrestrial reporting conditions,” the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced today. “Further, after the researchers incorporated a new infrared-absorbing polymer … [continued]