40% Solar Cell Efficiency — Solar energy world first in Australia | Wyly Wade
While Germany has achieved 40.7% efficiency it was only in a lab environment and could not be easily mass produced. The work in Australia is still largely refocusing light to large concentrators rather than direct conversion of solar energy. Australia's solar researchers have converted over 40 percent of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported. A key part of the prototype's design is the use of a custom optical bandpass filter to capture sunlight that is normally wasted by commercial solar cells on towers and convert it to electricity at a higher efficiency than the solar cells themselves ever could. The record efficiency was achieved in outdoor tests in Sydney, before being independently confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at their outdoor test facility in the United States. The work was funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and supported by the Australia-US Institute for