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Thursday, 7 July 2011

Double solar world record

University of New South Wales(UNSW)
July 7, 2011

A world record double by UNSW solar cell researchers promises to make solar power more affordable, with world-beating new technology delivering substantial efficiency gains at minimal extra cost.

Using a patented laser process, researchers from UNSW’s Photovoltaics Technology Transfer Team, working with solar technology firm Centrotherm, achieved a new world benchmark of 19.3 percent efficiency in May for a mass-produced, crystalline silicon solar cell. They improved that result in June to advance the record to 19.4 per cent.

The previous record for cells created with this process was 18.9 per cent.

The new cells compare favourably with the 18 per cent-efficient cells commonly used in rooftop solar panels.

Dr Matt Edwards, Program Manager of the Photovoltaics Technology Transfer Team in the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, said the records were achieved without exotic materials or equipment.

"The exciting aspect of these records is that we achieved these results in a short time, using an industry-standard silicon wafer and modified industry-standard equipment," he said.

"It’s another step closer to solar power costing the same as coal-fired electricity."


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