50% Solar Cell Efficiency Achieved, Creates New World Record

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have fabricated a solar cell with an efficiency of nearly 50%.

The six-junction solar cell now holds the world record for the highest solar conversion efficiency at 47.1%, which was measured under concentrated illumination. A variation of the same cell also sets the efficiency record under one-sun illumination at 39.2%.

“This device demonstrates the extraordinary potential of multijunction solar cells,” said John Geisz, a principal scientist in the High-Efficiency Crystalline Photovoltaics Group at NREL and lead author of a new paper on the record-setting cell.

The paper, “Six-junction III-V solar cells with 47.1% conversion efficiency under 143 suns concentration,” appears in the journal Nature Energy. Geisz’s co-authors are NREL scientists Ryan France, Kevin Schulte, Myles Steiner, Andrew Norman, Harvey Guthrey, Matthew Young, Tao Song, and Thomas Moriarty.