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Novel Material Close to Matching Silicon for Solar Power

3:05 AM MDT | March 31, 2008 |

Alex Scott

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL; Golden, CO) say they are closer to generating a non-silicon thin-film solar energy cell that can compete with the efficiency of standard silicon-based solar cells. In tests NREL’s copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cell recently reached a sunlight-to-energy conversion efficiency of 19.9%, setting a new world record for this type of cell. Standard multicrystalline silicon solar cells have shown efficiencies as high as 20.3%. Details about the...

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