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Oz researchers achieve highest solar power efficiency

Oz researchers achieve highest solar power efficiency
Highlights

Australian researchers made a major breakthrough when they set a world record for the highest levels of solar power efficiency ever achieved, media reported on Monday. A team from the University of New South Wales has achieved a record 40.4 per cent conversion efficiency by using standard solar cells combined with a mirror and filters, according to a Xinhua report.

Sydney: Australian researchers made a major breakthrough when they set a world record for the highest levels of solar power efficiency ever achieved, media reported on Monday. A team from the University of New South Wales has achieved a record 40.4 per cent conversion efficiency by using standard solar cells combined with a mirror and filters, according to a Xinhua report.

This special combination reduces wasted energy and eclipses the previous world solar power efficiency record of 36 per cent, according to Martin Green, director of the university's Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (PV). The breakthrough is expected to make the clean solar energy a stronger competitor of polluting fossil fuels.

Green said that the team would aim at raising the efficiency levels to 42 per cent next year, which is about halfway towards the ultimate goal of 86 per cent. "Its horse and buggy days as far as solar (power) is concerned at the moment. There's just this enormous potential for improvement in efficiency," Green was quoted as saying by the Fairfax Media on Monday.

He said that the world's best efficiency was created by stacking three solar panels in a way that they captured energy from different wavelengths of sunlight. The team then used mirrors and filters to direct excess light to a fourth photovoltaic (PV) cell to further boost efficiency.

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