Oxford PV sets another solar power efficiency world record – Power Technology

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Oxford PV, a research branch of Oxford University in the UK, has set a new world record for the most efficient solar panel, the company announced on Wednesday.

The company’s solar panel, produced in collaboration with Germany research institute the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, has achieved a record 25% conversion efficiency, compared with an industry average of around 20%.

The company hopes that increasing the efficiency of solar panels will aid the global transition towards net zero as well as boost electrification efforts. More efficient solar panels will be able to generate more power over the same area, reducing the cost of electricity and further accelerating the adoption of clean energy, Oxford PV said in a press statement.

According to the International Energy Agency’s Renewables 2023 report, last year solar power alone accounted for three-quarters of newly installed renewables capacity worldwide. Chris Case, chief technology officer at Oxford PV, said that the new world record suggests the industry is “on the cusp of the next solar revolution”.

“Solar energy is currently among the most cost-effective and sustainable energy sources. Our continuous advancements in technology will further enhance module efficiency – producing more electricity from the same area – and extending their use to all market sectors from residential, commercial through to utility scale,” he said, adding that the company plans to scale-up manufacturing this year.

The company has also broken world records recently for the most efficient solar cells. Its perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells have a theoretical maximum efficiency of more than 43%, compared with less than 30% for silicon solar cells.

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Oxford PV CEO David Ward said: “This new world record is a crucial milestone for Oxford PV, proving that our tandem solar cells can deliver record-breaking performance when assembled into solar panels.

“It is the first step in what will be a transformative 2024, as we begin to deliver market-ready panels from our factory in Germany and continue our global search for a new high-volume manufacturing site, which will enable us to bring our technology into the mainstream.”

The company will also continue to progress plans for a new factory to produce its tandem solar cells in high volumes, now set to be built in Germany. In May last year, it warned that the UK was the “least attractive” location for its new factory due to a lack of incentives, a sentiment echoed by other energy transition sectors such as car and battery makers.

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