Newly-designed solar cell may be most efficient in the world, claim scientists

The prototype integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum, researchers said.

Newly-designed solar cell may be most efficient in the world, claim scientists
Representational image

New Delhi: Scientists have designed a new solatr cells that they claim converts direct sunlight to electricity with 44.5 percent efficiency.

The prototype integrates multiple cells stacked into a single device capable of capturing nearly all of the energy in the solar spectrum, researchers said.

The approach developed by researchers at George Washington University (GWU) in the US is different from the solar panels one might commonly see on rooftops or in fields.

The new device uses concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) panels that employ lenses to concentrate sunlight onto tiny, micro-scale solar cells.

Due to their small size - less than one millimetre square - solar cells utilising more sophisticated materials can be developed cost effectively, researchers said.

The stacked cell acts almost like a sieve for sunlight, with the specialised materials in each layer absorbing the energy of a specific set of wavelengths.

By the time the light is funnelled through the stack, just under half of the available energy has been converted into electricity.

By comparison, the most common solar cell today converts only a quarter of the available energy into electricity.

(With PTI inputs)