Mitsubishi sets new record for solar cell efficiency

Mitsubishi Electric today said it has produced a polycrystalline-silicon solar cell that converts light energy to electrical energy with an efficiency of 18.6%. According to the company, the previous record stood at 18.3%.

The protoype is sized at 150x150mm and has a thickness of 180 microns. Mitsubishi structured the surface like a honeycomb in order to reduce reflections of sunrays. In addition, the electrodes are cut 50% in thickness ( to 60 microns) and doubled in size, expanding the surface to generate electrons while keeping electrical resistance at a low level.

Mitsubishi is hoping to commercialize its new solar technology in 2010. The company also managed to produce a prototype cell that is just 100 microns thick and boasts an energy efficiency of 17.4%.

Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]