Panasonic’s prototype solar cell has achieved the world’s highest conversion efficiency of 24.7%, according to tests performed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, reported the Nikkei.
This record conversion rate demonstrates superb efficiency of Panasonic HIT solar cells to convert sunlight into electricity. The latest figure is 0.8 percentage points higher than the previous record (23.9%) for HIT solar cells, and 0.5 percentage points higher than the previously published record for any monocrystalline silicon-based solar cell of practical size (100 cm2 and above).
According to the report, the Panasonic prototype has a surface membrane that allows more sunlight to pass through it and the electrodes are able to transfer electricity in a more efficient manner. The company has plans to take the prototype to the market for commercialization and raise the conversion efficiency of its mass-market solar cells, which stands at 21.6 per cent, reports MarketWatch.
Further, achieving this high efficiency at the very thin thickness of 98 micron has significant implications in terms of cost reduction as Panasonic continues to improve efficiency of its solar cells while lowering costs, with the aim to set itself apart from other companies in the industry.
In addition, Panasonic is working to lower its solar-cell production costs by 20% by manufacturing them at a new Malaysian plant using a higher proportion of parts made outside Japan.