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Record Breaking Solar Cell Efficiency of 44% Achieved at NREL

solarjunctionhighefficiencypv.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smartThe world record for energy efficiency of photovoltaic cells has been broken again. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), together with their partner Solar Junction, reported the incredible 44% efficiency achieved through improvement of the already existing multi-junction PV cells.

The layered semiconductors used in the cells were previously optimized to capture various wavelengths of light.  Now these are combined with low-cost concentrating lenses, allowing multiplication of the intensity of the incoming solar energy that hits the cells.

It was only last year, when the record was broken by a team at NREL and Solar Junction with their SJ3 cells, designed for utility-scale concentrated solar photovoltaic projects. The estimated conversion rate of these cells was 43.5% at 415 suns. It is not long later that the guys managed to raise the bar to 44% at 947 suns with their latest invention.

The ultimate aim of NREL is to reach the 50% efficiency benchmark in the very near future.

Daniel Friedman, manager of the NREL III-V Multijunction Photovoltaics Group points out that the partnership with Solar Junction was what turned the lab invention into a huge commercial success.

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Mila is a researcher and scientist with a great passion for soils, rocks, plants, water and all environment-related aspects of our surroundings. For the past 10 years, during the course of her educational and professional development, she travelled all over Europe, Africa and Asia, driven by her passion for the environment and urge to seek challenges.

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