30 Sep 2008 05:09:27
Most efficient solar panel devised
The most efficient solar cell has been developed by scientists in Germany.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg have broken their own old record for efficiency at converting solar energy into electricity.
The team achieved 39.7 per cent efficiency, a record, which they achieved with a III-V semiconductor multi-junction solar cell.
Achieving a balance between the size of the wire, which transmits electricity, and the size of the solar panel surface which converts sun light into electricity, is one of the essential tasks of solar panel designers.
The team has been working to devise the optimal contact structures.
"We are very pleased to have advanced a further decisive step in such a short amount of time," said Dr Andreas Bett, department head at Fraunhofer ISE. "Highest conversion efficiencies help the young technology to become market competitive and to further sink the costs of generating electricity from the sun for the future."
The Vatican has recently installed solar panels for the first time, with the Paul VI auditorium, where the Pope delivers his weekly addresses if it rains, having 2,700 panels fitted.http://www.ise.fhg.de/press-and-media/press-releases/pres...