Even after being promoted as the safest and the greenest way to produce renewable energy, solar cells haven’t really taken off considering the fact that most of them are either too expensive or aren’t really efficient in converting photons to electrons. Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) along with partner Solar Junction are trying to end the woes with the development of the world’s most efficient solar cells, with a claimed efficiency of 44 percent.
The cells are based on the team’s previous multi-junction PV cells where each layer is optimized to capture different wavelengths of light. The tech is combined with affordable sunlight concentrating lenses to increase the solar radiation hitting the cells. The cells are being claimed to have a record efficiency of 44 percent at 947 suns – a measurement of the intensity of concentrated solar.
Treehugger states that the breakthrough has made NREL and Solar Junction acquire another R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine, which could pave the way for a 50 percent efficient solar cell in the not-distant future.