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Leap in Photovoltaic Solar Cell Efficiency


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The last I heard, photovoltaic technology was able to convert around 20 to 25% of sunlight into electricity, so to exceed 40% is a major step.

 

During the oil crisis in the '70s (when solar was talked about so much, but never went anywhere), the %age was more like only 5 or 6%, so it would seem we're really getting somewhere finally with solar technology.

 

NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent

 

News item on ElectricalEngineer.com website.

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The last I heard, photovoltaic technology was able to convert around 20 to 25% of sunlight into electricity, so to exceed 40% is a major step.

 

During the oil crisis in the '70s (when solar was talked about so much, but never went anywhere), the %age was more like only 5 or 6%, so it would seem we're really getting somewhere finally with solar technology.

 

NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent

 

News item on ElectricalEngineer.com website.

 

I was thinking about an array in the garden but will probably hold off now for a few more years or until the new technology feeds through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The last I heard, photovoltaic technology was able to convert around 20 to 25% of sunlight into electricity, so to exceed 40% is a major step.

 

During the oil crisis in the '70s (when solar was talked about so much, but never went anywhere), the %age was more like only 5 or 6%, so it would seem we're really getting somewhere finally with solar technology.

 

NREL Solar Cell Sets World Efficiency Record at 40.8 Percent

 

News item on ElectricalEngineer.com website.

 

The 40.8 percent efficiency was measured under concentrated light of 326 suns, not many places like that. How did they measure the efficiency of the older types?

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It’s a CPV system (Concentrated Photo Voltaic).

Essentially they use expensive solar cells like the III-V materials but then add lenses or reflectors to achieve the concentrated effect (i.e. 100 suns etc).

 

There are quite a few new companies looking at this, but only one or two producing power so far (see Solar Systems) http://www.solarsystems.com.au/35pc%20rece...news%20item.pdf

 

These operate more efficiently at higher illumination than cheaper Si based one-sun cells.

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

The % converted is not very important, its not like the world doesn't have the land.

 

 

A solar cell converting at 90% efficent but costing $1 per kWh will go nowhere.

A solar cell converting at 10% efficency but costing 1cent per kWh would take over world electricty production in a few years.

 

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  • 4 months later...

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