Solar cell lifts the benchmark
A concentrator solar cell produced by Boeing-Spectrolab in the US has achieved world-record conversion efficiency, passing the 40 per cent barrier for the first time. This breakthrough may lead to solar systems that cost only US$3 ($3.90) per watt to install and that produce electricity at a cost of US8-10 cents/kWh.
Most solar modules do not concentrate the sun’s power and achieve much lower efficiencies of 12-18 per cent.
The 40.7 per cent efficiency cell was developed using a unique multi-junction solar cell structure, which captures more energy from the solar spectrum. They are made of layers and each layer captures part of the sunlight passing through the cell.
Researchers have had the 40 per cent milestone in their sights since reaching 30 per cent efficiency in 1994.