Photovoltaic solar panels are measured in terms of how efficient they are at converting light into electricity. Obviously potential energy is lost when this conversion occurs and it has long been speculated that it would be possible to get 1/3 of the energy captured converted into electricity. In labs, this is a relatively easy task, however doing this in the field proves to be rather hard.
An American company announced recently that they have been able to achieve this level of efficiency on a regular enough basis.
During a period of testing by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory back in May, a peak efficiency of 34.2 percent was achieved, which Amonix claims is the highest ever reached by a PV module under real-world conditions. However, Amonix is only now drawing attention to the breakthrough, which saw its own record of 30.3 percent efficiency broken.
The solar module efficiency is the efficiency of the panel, and not the same as the efficiency of individual solar cells from which it’s comprised. At the moment, solar cell efficiency can just exceed 43 percent for concentrated systems. It’s the module efficiency, however, which reflects the amount of electricity a PV system can produce.