Researchers achieve efficiency of 35.9% with new solar tech

Researchers have achieved a record solar cell efficiency of 35.9% in a certain type of the technology. Scientists at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Researchers have achieved a record solar cell efficiency of 35.9% in a certain type of the technology.

Scientists at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, set the landmark result for silicon-based triple-junction solar cells.

Most domestic models have an efficiency between 10% and 20%.

These new cells are made of a gallium indium phosphide and gallium arsenide cell on top, used in combination with a silicon-based bottom cell. By using multiple semiconductor materials, researchers allowed a broader range of wavelengths to be absorbed, improving the cell’s efficiency when converting sunlight to electrical energy.

In this case, the top level cells absorbed blue light from the sun more efficiently.