Interactive chart of solar cell efficiency updated


From pv magazine Global

NREL has unveiled a new version of its Best Research-Cell Efficiency Chart. The tool highlights the highest confirmed conversion efficiencies of research cells for a range of PV technologies.

With the new interactive version, users can pull up decades of research data and compare custom charts that focus on specific technologies or time periods, NREL said in a statement. They can now find data on a cell’s current, voltage output, and fill factor, in addition to efficiency. The availability of those details will depend on the information in NREL’s records.

The highest research cell efficiency recorded in the chart is 47.1%, for a four-junction cell. Its interactive nature allows users to visualize the recent jump in conversion efficiencies for emerging technologies like perovskite solar cells. That contrasts with the steady improvement of silicon solar cell efficiency since the 1980s.

Development of two types of silicon solar cells (in blue) and of perovskite solar cells (in orange). Image: NREL

“It’s possible that the NREL efficiency chart is the most presented graph that you can find at the annual PV Specialists Conference and similar conferences,” said Sarah Kurtz, senior research fellow at NREL. “But it has gotten so full that it’s difficult to see the data. With the new interactive chart, researchers will be able to still use the data, but present it in a way that communicates better for their talk.”

The cell efficiencies are measured by independent testing centres, including NREL, before earning a spot on the chart. All of the figures are also available as a downloadable file.

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