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Oxford PV sets new solar panel efficiency record

07 Feb 2024

25% achievement in partnership with Fraunhofer is best yet for tandem modules in industrial format.

Oxford PV, a developer of solar technology, says it has set a new record for the world’s most efficient solar panel – “marking a crucial milestone in the clean energy transition.”

Produced in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the panel achieved a record 25% conversion efficiency, a significant increase on the more typical 24% efficiency of commercial modules.

With solar power accounting for three-quarters of renewable capacity additions worldwide in 20231, increasing the efficiency of solar panels has transformative potential in the drive towards net zero and an all-electric future.

As the installation of solar power continues to gather pace, more efficient solar panels will generate more power over the same area, reducing the cost of electricity and further accelerating the adoption of clean energy.

Oxford PV, a spin-out of the University of Oxford, is a world leader in the development of perovskite-on-silicon tandem solar cells, which have a theoretical maximum efficiency of over 43%, compared to less than 30% for silicon solar cells.

Chris Case, Chief Technology Officer, Oxford PV, said, “Our record-breaking solar panels demonstrate that we are on the cusp of the next solar revolution, which will be delivered, in part, by our tandem cell technology.

“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 added.

David Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford PV, commented: “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.”

Performance data

The Oxford PV silicon perovskite tandem solar panel delivered an output of 421 watts on an area of 1.68 square meters, said to be the world’s most efficient perovskite silicon tandem solar module in industrial format. For the manufacturing process, the researchers used equipment at Fraunhofer ISE’s Module-TEC that is already used in mass production and optimized the processes for the tandem technology.

For the calibrated measurements, CalLab PV Modules used a multispectral solar simulator to determine the module efficiency. In order to make precise and reproducible statements about the tandem module’s power, both the perovskite and the silicon cell layers were illuminated by different LED light sources under conditions that are as close as possible to those in which they produce electricity under natural sunlight.

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