Scientists set new record for solar cell efficiency

(ORDO NEWS) — Improving the efficiency of solar cells can make a huge difference to the amount of energy produced in the same surface area and for the same amount of sunlight.

Researchers have now achieved 29.15% efficiency in the category of tandem perovskite and silicon solar cells, which are just one of several different cell types. Many different technologies are currently being used to convert solar energy into electricity.

For this type of panel, the long-term goal of over 30% is now surprisingly attainable. The latest lab tests are ahead of the 28 percent maximum efficiency achieved so far.

“Tandem solar cells, which combine silicon with metal halide perovskite, are a promising option for breaking the single cell efficiency limit,” the researchers wrote in their paper. “We are reporting a monolithic perovskite / silicon tandem with a certified energy conversion efficiency of 29.15%.”

Perovskite and silicon were developed separately as semiconductor materials for use in solar panels: silicon cells have been around for a long time and are now the standard for solar power plants around the world.

Perovskite is a promising new material that scientists believe could eventually replace silicon in terms of efficiency.

Another good news is that combining perovskite and silicon together does not add to the cost of making the panels. Reducing prices is important for the widest and fastest possible adoption of solar technology.

In this new study, an efficiency record of 29.15% was achieved with a 1cm x 1cm panel, so serious upscaling will be required. However, the researchers say it is possible. After 300 hours of use, the tandem element retained 95 percent of its original efficiency, which is another promising sign.

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