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Sundrive Solar Develops a New Copper Based Cell that reaches 26.41% efficiency.

Start up Company Sundrive Solar Develops a New Copper Based Cell that reaches 26.41% efficiency.

Photo: Sundrive Solar

Australian start-up Sundrive has once again amazed the world, as they recently announce another solar efficiency record. A newly developed style of a silicon hetero junction solar cell (full size), which consists of a copper base, has achieved 26.41% efficiency, compared to the standard silver-based cell which sits around the 15-22% range, and the Chinese company ‘Longi’ record of their silver based cells at 26.30%.

This new technology is groundbreaking as copper is much more common than silver meaning that the costs of panels will be greatly reduced, and material demand will be lowered as the solar market grows.  “All of the worlds industrial silver consumption just goes into making solar cells with most predictions estimating that before the end of this decade, the solar manufacturing is going to grow at least 5 times. This obviously represents a massive challenge.”

“Copper is around 100 times cheaper per kilogram and around 1,000 times more abundant than silver. And aside from the abundancy and cost benefits of copper, we have found we can improve the efficiency above and beyond what is attainable with silver.”

Not only are they using an alternative material to cut costs, but this means that they can use less silicon as it allows for a more concentrated smaller surface area, whilst still being able to achieve the increased efficiency. This is great news for scalability as panels will be more and more common, matching the worlds energy needs.

Photo: Sundrive Solar

Vince Allen, CEO of Sundrive said “There is a misconception solar is solved. Today’s solar technology is at its efficiency and material limits, yet we are only 1% of the way there in creating a solar electric world”.

Here is a video from the company going more into detail:

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