World Record Set for Solar Module Efficiency

Semprius' photovoltaic solar module achieves a 33.9% efficiency.

Semprius, Inc., a provider of high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar modules, announced on Jan. 31 that it has set a new world record for photovoltaic module efficiency, reaching 33.9% (active area).

The module was tested indoors at Standard Test Conditions (850 W/m2, 25C cell temperature, and a spectrum matched to AM1.5D) by the Instituto de Energa Solar at the Universidad Politcnica de Madrid (IES-UPM). This efficiency result, certified by the IES-UPM and corroborated by outdoor measurements made at the Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems (ISFOC) in Puertollano, Spain, significantly exceeds the previous claim of 32%.

"For the first time, we have been able to convert more than one-third of the sun's energy into usable electricity." said Scott Burroughs, vice president of Technology at Semprius. "This demonstrates how concentrated PV can leverage rapidly increasing efficiencies to continue driving down the cost of solar generated electricity."

Semprius' HCPV module design begins with its micro-transfer printing process which enables the company to fabricate the world's smallest solar cell -- approximately the size of a pencil point.

"This is the culmination of our emphasis on bringing smart design to solar," said Joe Carr, CEO of Semprius. "We looked carefully at each component of our module -- cell, optics, enclosure and the manufacturing process -- to develop a competitive solution that embodies high efficiency, performance and reliability. Important to our customers is the fact that the module chosen for this third-party evaluation is part of the normal production distribution that will be commercially available later this year."

After developing its module with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Semprius is now ramping up global deployment of demonstration systems while completing construction of a pilot plant in Henderson, N.C. Commercial production at the plant will begin during the second half of 2012.

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