Listings of the highest confirmed efficiencies for a range of photovoltaic cell and module technologies are published every six months since January 1993 by the journal Progress in Photovoltaics. New entries since July 2011 are reviewed in the publication.
Professor Martin A. Green, what was your motivation to get involved in compiling this information?
Mainly to ensure results reported in the literature for improved solar cell performance are reliable. Groups measuring their own solar cells often overestimate their performance. By requiring independent measurement of results before being included in the Tables, we have helped to establish this as the equivalent of having research results peer-reviewed before publication.
What are the most remarkable achievements in solar cell efficiency?
There have been many exciting improvements in cell performance documented in the Tables. Recently, the most impressive have been in the area of tandem stacks of cells used in systems that use focussed sunlight. Our present best result is 43.5 % energy conversion efficiency with this figure improving rapidly. At the opposite extreme, we have now reported the first 10 % efficiency for an organic solar cell. We have also reported rapid progress with the large multicrystalline silicon wafer modules that dominate present commercial practice with six different groups fighting it out by producing record results over the last two years.
How is your research related to this field?
My research group at University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney produces the world’s best silicon cells so our results feature in several of the Tables.