In pursuit of the SunShot Initiative’s goal to drive the cost of solar-generated electricity down to $0.06 per kWh, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has designed a new solar cell that converts electricity at 45.7% efficiency. With one of the highest photovoltaic research cell efficiencies ever achieved, the new design incorporates an extra absorber layer to achieve the boost in efficiency and is designed to receive more than 1,000 suns of concentrated sunlight.
The solar cell is designed to be used in a concentrator photovoltaic system, allowing more light to be converted to electricity and enabling the high efficiency rate. While the maximum efficiency was measured at 234 suns concentration, the system performed nearly as well under higher concentrations, demonstrating 45.2% efficiency at 700 suns concentration. The cell is currently being sent to an external accredited laboratory for confirmation of the tests.
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