Photovoltaic cells manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS announced today that it has achieved a world-record-breaking multicrystalline solar module efficiency. The independent Fraunhofer ISE CalLab confirmed the record module efficiency rating of 19.5% in relation to the aperture area and a power output of 301 watts. The efficiency record has been published in the widely referenced Efficiency Tables of the renowned scientific journal “Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications” in June 2016.
The promise of ‘zero-energy’ buildings – which generate as much power as they consume – has been held back by two hurdles: the cost of the thin-film solar cells (used in façades, roofs and windows), and the fact they’re made from scarce, and highly toxic, materials.
That’s about to change: a team from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia, led by Dr Xiaojing Hao of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, have achieved the world’s highest efficiency rating for a full-sized thin-film solar cell using a competing thin-film technology, known as CZTS.