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NREL updates laboratory efficiency of solar cells with 47.1%

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the United States recently released a new interactive version of the research cell efficiency chart for a series of photovoltaic technologies.

Cell Efficiency Chart

The tool highlights the highest confirmatory conversion efficiency of a range of solar technology research cells.

NREL said in a statement that through the new interactive version, users can call up decades of research data and focus on customized charts for specific technologies or time periods. In addition to efficiency, they can now find data on cell current, voltage output and fill factor. The availability of these details will depend on the information in the NREL record.

The highest studied cell efficiency of the four junction cell recorded in the chart is 47.1%. Its interactive nature allows users to directly see the recent leap in conversion efficiency of emerging technologies such as perovskite solar cells. This is in sharp contrast to the steady improvement of silicon solar cell efficiency since the 1980s.

Two types of silicon solar cells (blue) and perovskite solar cells (orange)

“The NREL efficiency chart is probably the most representative chart you can find at the annual photovoltaic expert meeting and similar meetings,” said Sarah Kurtz, senior researcher at NREL. “But it has become so full that it is difficult to see the data. With the new interactive charts, researchers will still be able to use the data, but present it in a better way of communication.”

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