Bright News for the Future of Solar Power
20 May, 2016
A recent exciting break-through by Australian Engineers at the University of NSW has significantly increased the energy conversion potential of solar cells, jumping the world record from 24% to an impressive 34.5% sunlight-to-electricity efficiency. Even more impressively, they achieve this level of efficiency using un-concentrated sunlight, just like the modules on family homes.
In addition to being substantially more efficient, these new solar cells also cover considerably less surface area than previous record-holding cells.
The cells work by splitting sunlight into four separate bands, which are then absorbed by four different layers made from materials specifically developed to optimise efficiency.
Although the cost of these cells is currently prohibitive for large-scale commercial production, this unexpectedly rapid progress in photovoltaric technology should ultimately enable solar power to be even more affordable into the future, further lowering investment costs and delivering faster payback to homes and businesses.
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