The solar industry is seeing growth unlike any other in recent years, with much of the attention focused on efficiencies and reaching the golden rate of sunlight absorption, around 40%, which would indicate the ceiling of solar’s power potential.
As these rates continue to rapidly progress through the roof of the last, prices per KWh drop in response, bringing down overall solar installation prices, making the entire activity much more lucrative to us consumers and the producers, and generally makes our world a better place.
There is however a secondary bonus to such procedure - competition. Hundreds or private, multinational and lab groups are striving to be the team with the highest efficiency, whether it be for their individual solar cells, or the entire panel. This competition is what drives records to be broken, almost on a daily basis. The latest addition to the list is quite a big one.
Semprius, a large solar-module producing company which has been awarded multiple large sums of money by the NERL and DOE for its advances in the industry, has in its latest project cranked the bar up to 33.9%, beating back the original world record of 32%. They have achieved “unmatched efficiency and performance” by creating a solar cell the size of a pencil point (another world record), allowing an unheard of amount of sunlight-electricity generation.
Many are touting the company as a success story of the highest order in terms of government-backed solar funding and subsidies, which comes at a time where many solar bankruptcies have tarnished the industry’s reputation. Although it is too early to mark this down as a complete success just yet, the progress Semprius has made is certainly admirable, and worthy of further investment.