Unisolar Says it Hit a New Record for PV Efficiency

United Solar, Rochester Hills, Mich., a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD), Auburn Hills, Mich., said it has achieved world-record efficiency of 16.3 percent for thin-film silicon solar technology. This achievement is higher than the previous record of 15.4 percent, also reached by United Solar. United Solar attained a small-area (0.25 cm2) initial cell efficiency of 16.3 percent using a triple-junction structure incorporating its recently patented Nano-Crystalline silicon technology. The cells will be sent to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), an official U.S. Department of Energy laboratory, for independent testing and confirmation. Earlier this year, United Solar announced that NREL had confirmed that the company's Nano-Crystalline technology achieves 12 percent initial conversion efficiency in a large-area encapsulated cell (400 cm2), also a world-record for thin-film silicon solar technology.

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