Clean Energy News

Jul 21, 2024

Record Broken for Solar Cell Efficiency

May 25, 2022

Category: news

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Researchers from the US Department of Energys National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed a new solar cell that attained 39.5% efficiency under 1-sun global illumination. The NRELs new solar cell has the highest efficiency solar cell of any type when using the standardized 1-sun global illumination.

Solar energy cells are designed to capture and convert solar radiation into electricity. Cell efficiency is a measure of the maximum amount of solar radiation that a solar cell can convert into electricity. The majority of solar panels have cell efficiencies ranging from 15% to 20%. Solar cell efficiency has increased as photovoltaic technology has advanced.

This record-breaking level of efficiency means that 39.5% of solar radiation can be converted into electricity. NREL attained this level of efficiency by inserting quantum wells into the middle layer solar cell to increase the amount of light the cell could absorb. According to Myles Steiner, a senior scientist in NRELs High-Efficiency Crystalline Photovoltaics Group, œthe new cell is more efficient and has a simpler design that may be useful for a variety of new applications, such as highly area-constrained applications or low-radiation space applications. This research may open pathways for more highly area-constrained groups to gain access to improved solar technology.

As research into enhancing solar cell efficiency continues, solar panels with higher efficiencies are likely to be developed. Solar panels with higher efficiencies require less surface area to meet the energy needs for homes and businesses.

 

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