Australian Researchers Set World Record for Highest Solar Power Efficiency
A research team from the University of New South Wales achieved a record solar power conversion efficiency of 40.4 percent using the standard solar cells combined with filters and mirrors. This is the highest ever achieved conversion rate.
According to Martin Green, Director of the University’s Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (PV), the special combination reduces the amount of energy wasted. The previous record of world solar power efficiency is 36%. With this breakthrough, solar energy will become a strong option against the use of fossil fuels for energy requirements.
The research team is aiming to increase the conversion efficiency to 42% next year. This will take the team about half way to their ultimate aim of achieving 86% efficiency.
According to Green, “It is horse and buggy days is what solar power is concerned at the moment. There is very huge potential for improvement in efficiency.”
He added that the best conversion efficiency was achieved by stacking three solar panels in such a way that the cells captured the different wavelength of energy from the sunlight. The researchers then used the mirrors and filters to direct the excess light on to a fourth photovoltaic cell to further boost the conversion efficiency.
Solar energy is considered as the safe and continuous source of energy for the future and most of the countries are turning to use solar energy for their energy requirement either due to the pollution caused by the fossil fuels or due to the increased price of petroleum products.
Global consumption of energy is increasing at a faster rate and it is expected to increase about 50 % by the year 2030. There is possible depletion of fossil fuels as well as water in the future. Water is an important part in energy production as it is used in hydroelectric power generation and for the cooling purposes in thermo electric power plants. The demand for water by the energy sector in the developed countries averages about 40% of total water use.
Solar energy is the key answer to many ecological and environmental concerns in different part of the world. Countries like Australia, America and Britain are supporting the research regarding the efficient conversion of solar energy into electrical energy and various other aspects of producing solar energy.
There is a worldwide need for sustainable and reliable energy source and more research is needed to put into operation the use of solar energy by making it more affordable for all the countries.