Solar energy innovators Oxford Perovskite have set a new world efficiency record of 28.6% for photovoltaic cells capable of commercial use.
The new 28.6% benchmark exceeds their own record of 26.8%, set only last year. Both records were verified by the prestigious Fraunhofer ISE institute.
Conventional silicon-based cells convert at most 24% of available light into electricity. The Oxford innovators achieve their edge by coating their product with stabilised perovskite, a mineral previously regarded as too unstable for commercial exploitation.
The British firm produced the cell on its integrated production line in Brandenburg an der Havel, near Berlin. Opened in 2016, the factory produces the company’s tandem solar cells for supply to solar module manufacturers. A ramp up of production will now follow.
The company, an eleven year old spin-off from Oxford University, hit the headlines last month when it said it would look to America or Asia, and not Britain, for expansion and further investment.
“Solar is already one of the least expensive and cleanest forms of energy available, and our technology will make it even more affordable,” observed Dr Chris Case, Oxford Perovskite’s chief technology officer.
“Our latest efficiency achievement of 28.6% is more than 1.5% above our record set last year and exceeds our own roadmap plan of 1% annual increases.
”These record-setting solar cells are made on the same production line as our 27% efficient commercial solar cells, which already meet strict performance and reliability targets.
Solar panels integrated with Oxford PV’s solar cells produce more electricity from the same area, making them highly attractive for residential and commercial rooftops. For utility-scale solar farms, the firm’s technology reduces land usage and assists in maintaining biodiversity.