Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (ISE) has set a new world record for PV module efficiency. Scientists at the institute achieved 41.4% efficiency for a solar module using both tandem cell and high-concentration PV technology.
Fraunhofer ISE, in collaboration with the EU-funded CPVMatch project, has set a new record for solar module efficiency at 41.4%.
The module measures 122 cm² and utilizes a multijunction, tandem cell set up, with multiple layers of active cell material stacked on top of each other to absorb different sections of the light spectrum. Fraunhofer did not specify the cell materials used in the record-breaking module, other than to say that they are based on III-V compound semiconductors.
The module also relies on concentrator PV (CPV) technology – whereby sunlight is concentrated onto a cell using a Fresnel lens. The team says it was able to make use of achromatic lenses in the module, further contributing to the record efficiency. Such technology has proven to enable very high efficiency levels, but has seen little commercial uptake so far, as its performance is limited to areas with high levels of direct solar irradiation.
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