The world’s most efficient solar panel is here to stay thanks to the collaboration between North Carolina’s Semprius Inc. and the German company Siemens. The device is claimed to use 33.9% of the sunlight it comes into contact with and turns it into electricity, more than the last record of 32% obtained in the Spanish laboratory of Instituto de Energia Solar at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
How is this PV (photovoltaic) module better than the rest? Well, it is so by bringing on mirrors and lenses to magnify the sunlight, before it reaches the PV cell. It is a form of concentrated photovoltaics (CPV), which brings together the best of the two technologies.
For once, it generates direct electricity just as conventional PV and secondly, it follows a solar thermal principle, in which the mirrors reflect the sun onto a fluid to help it warm up and push a steam turbine.
You may wonder why 2% is such a big deal. It’s a case of a “small step for a man, but a huge step for energy economics” in terms of investment returns and space use. Anyway, it’s a lot better than what the market offers right now a 16% efficient PV modules. It just needs to develop more from the market stage it’s now at and it has every chance of making it with Siemens on board.
The German company is making an input with trackers which ensure the best position for panels, while Semprius takes care of the module and the cells. This way, percent by percent, the solar technology will be take over your roof in no time!