Improving the efficiency of silicon-based solar cells has proven a challenge in the past couple of years as all the low-hanging fruit has been picked.
Now a team of Japanese researchers from Kaneka Corporation has pushed the envelope. They report a record-breaking efficiency of 26.3% beating the previous record of 25.6%. Most commercial-grade solar cells operate in the low-20-percent range.
There are millions of solar panels in the world and by 2050 there could be billions. Even a fraction of a percent can add up to massive amounts of renewable electricity which is why such work is extremely important.Silicon solar cell with 26.3% efficiency.
The theoretical limit for silicon solar cells is 29 to 30 percent – silicon cells primarily capture the light waves from the red spectrum of sunlight while the rest of the spectrum is not utilized.