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World record for photovoltaic module efficiency

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09 February 2012

The solar company Semprius, in which Siemens has invested as a strategic partner in June 2011, achieved a world record for photovoltaic module efficiency of 33.9 percent. This result was externally certified after measurement under standard test conditions at the Instituto de Energía Solar (IES) at the University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid).

Semprius, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, develops high concentrating photovoltaic (HCPV) modules. The latest prototypes achieved a major milestone with 33.9 percent solar module efficiency. In a joint collaboration with the Spanish Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems (ISFOC) and the University of Madrid, this testing was performed by the IES institute of the university. For the first time a photovoltaic module converted more than one-third of the energy of the solar irradiation on the module area into usable electricity. Depending on the specific location and irradiation, the HCPV modules can deliver an energy output per square meter that is two times higher than common polycrystalline modules.

Leading module manufacturers of conventional PV technologies achieve a maximum module efficiency of approximately 20 percent with monocrystalline PV modules and about 16 percent with polycrystalline technology.


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