Siemens partner Semprius claims record for photovoltaic efficiency

The latest prototypes achieved a milestone with 33.9 percent solar module efficiency, according to Siemens

Erlangen, Germany, January 31, 2012 — The solar company Semprius, in which Siemens has invested as a strategic partner in June 2011, achieved a world record for photovoltaic module efficiency of 33.9 percent, according to the companies involved.

This result was externally certified after measurement under standard test conditions at the Instituto de Energia Solar (IES) at the University of Madrid (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid).

Semprius, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, develops high concentrating photovoltaic (HCPV) modules. The latest prototypes achieved a milestone with 33.9 percent solar module efficiency. In a joint collaboration with the Spanish Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems and the University of Madrid, this testing was performed by the IES institute of the university.

Depending on the specific location and irradiation, the HCPV modules can deliver an energy output per square meter that is two times higher than common polycrystalline modules.

Module manufacturers of conventional PV technologies achieve a maximum module efficiency of approximately 20 percent with monocrystalline PV modules and about 16 percent with polycrystalline technology.

In June 2011, Siemens acquired a 16-percent stake in Semprius to scale up the HCPV technology to market maturity. The Semprius HCPV systems bundle the sunlight on the modules with the aid of integrated lenses on small photovoltaic cells. HCPV is an alternative to conventional photovoltaics especially suitable for sunbelt regions with high direct irradiation.

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