Big solar step: Super-efficient system sets record

A new world record is making the future of solar energy look pretty bright. Researchers in Australia recently developed a solar energy system that can convert more than 40 percent of the sunlight that hits it into electricity the highest efficiency ever reported for a commercially available photovoltaic system.


The technology first achieved the record-breaking efficiency in outdoor tests in Sydney, Australia, and later at an outdoor test facility operated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, the primary lab for renewable energy and energy efficiency research in the United States

Martin Green, a professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics, led the research group that built the new energy system. This wasn’t the first time Green and his team broke a world record for solar energy efficiency. [Top 10 Craziest Environmental Ideas]

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  • jeffhre

    This is the third group that has announced 40% or better efficiency, at least in the lab. Looks inevitable that some time within the next 5 years solar collectors will be 50% of their current size. Here’s to hoping that costs can be at least 25% better per watt, as well as resulting in half the size of today’s panels.

    Though long term, rest assured these 50% smaller panels will on a square foot basis be less the commercial panels we’re now using.