Researchers have made significant advancements in solar cell efficiency, pushing the boundaries of what was once thought possible.
Several breakthroughs were reported in the prestigious journal Science, with at least two groups achieving efficiencies well beyond 30%.
The current efficiency records for silicon-only solar cells stand at 24.5% in commercial cells and 27% in laboratory settings. These figures are considered close to the theoretical maximum of 29%. However, recent developments have surpassed these limitations.
One group, led by Prof Steve Albrecht at the Helmholtz Center Berlin for Materials and Energy in Germany, revealed their achievement of efficiencies reaching up to 32.5% for silicon-perovskite cells. Another group, under the leadership of Dr. Xin Yu Chin at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, demonstrated an impressive efficiency of 31.25% for tandem cells. Their findings highlighted the potential for high efficiency combined with low manufacturing costs.
It is worth noting that Prof De Wolf’s own research group achieved an efficiency of 33.7% with a tandem cell in June. While their results have yet to be published in a journal, the reported efficiencies’ measurements were independently verified.
These breakthroughs in solar cell efficiency mark a promising turning point in advancing renewable energy technology. The higher efficiencies achieved by these research groups could potentially lead to more cost-effective and widespread adoption of solar energy systems, bringing us closer to a sustainable future.