Company believes it could break solar efficiency record

Friday, January 6, 2012 @ 12:01 PM
posted by rene5432

A new type of solar power system could reach new heights of efficiency based on an innovative new approach to photovoltaics, according to CleanTechnica.

Solar power has become one of the leading sources of renewable electricity in large part because the technology has seen regular advances in efficiency along with a steady decline in prices.

CleanTechnica notes that solar efficiency records were set for cadmium-telluride solar cells, thin-film solar modules and conversion efficiency in 2011, but the top single cell efficiency record has stood since 2008 at 25 percent, set at the University of New South Wales.

Now Solar3D, a company that uses a new approach of designing solar cells to direct light within the cell itself, believes its model could beat the record, potentially posting an efficiency as high as 25.47 percent.

Less than a 0.5 percent improvement may seem minor, but MIT's Technology Review reports that it brings the cell ever closer to the theoretical limit for a single silicon solar cell of 29 percent. This limit is based upon the range of light that the material can potentially absorb to transform into electricity.

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