Panasonic breaks conversion efficiency record

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Panasonic has announced a conversion efficiency of 25.6% in its HIT solar cells, a feat which the company calls a “major increase” over the previous record of 24.7%. A statement from the company said that the conversion efficiency for practical size cells broke for the first time the 25% barrier.

Panasonic said the new record was made possible by its proprietary heterojunction technology and its adoption of a back-contact solar cell structure which allows more efficient utilisation of sunlight. Other factors for the increase in efficiency were given by Panasonic to be reductions in recombination and optical losses and a minimisation of resistance loss.

Going forward, Panasonic said it will continue to pursue technology development of its HIT solar cells aimed at realizing higher efficiency, a more efficient use of resources, and mass production.

The HIT solar cells is the most recent of the Japanese company’s technical marvels. It was reported at the end of March that it had developed a stand-alone power system for rural off-grid areas. That was a 3 KW system, constructed with 12 HIT 240 solar modules and 24 lead-acid batteries. Panasonic’s other big development was the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town built on the outskirts of Tokyo that was a self-sustaining city for over 30, 000 people.