Solar panel efficiency ‘research race’ ongoing as technology dashes toward records

Solar panel efficiency ‘research race’ ongoing as technology dashes toward records

The solar panel industry is fighting physics’ stubborn hold on the secrets of photons exciting electrons – and the results of this atomic level focus are showing up for regular people.

A trio of solar efficiency records have been brought forward recently: Hanergy’s thin film unit developed a 25% solar panel, Trina Solar broke 25% with an IBC solar cell, and a lab in Europe has set an amazing record of a 26% solar cell using a standard, simple ‘p-type’ technology.

Solar cell efficiency increases mean a lower cost for the electricity being produced because you can use much of the same hardware, and labor, to install a larger amount of energy. A few years ago, one person could easily carry a 250-280W solar panel, and today that same worker is carrying 290-325W solar panels. 16% more energy being moved with the exact same physical motions.

A key point you’ll see is that, much like the sport of professional boxing, there are many ‘record solar cell efficiencies’ because there are many product types. As such, if you get a little confused about which solar panel is the best…well, it’s a great debate in the industry among the experts – and only time will show us the winner(s).

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