Best Research-Cell Efficiency Chart
NREL maintains a chart of the highest confirmed conversion efficiencies for research cells for a range of photovoltaic technologies, plotted from 1976 to the present.
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Cell Chart Explanatory Notes
Devices included in this chart of the current state of the art have efficiencies that are confirmed by independent, recognized test labs—e.g., NREL, AIST, JRC-ESTI, and Fraunhofer-ISE—and are reported on a standardized basis. The measurements for new entries must be with respect to Standard Test or Reporting Conditions as defined by the global reference spectrum for flat-plate devices and the direct reference spectrum for concentrator devices as listed in standards IEC 60904-3 edition 2 or ASTM G173. The reference temperature is 25°C, and the area is the cell total area or the area defined by an aperture.
Cell efficiency results are provided within families of semiconductors:
- Multijunction cells
- Single-junction gallium arsenide cells
- Crystalline silicon cells
- Thin-film technologies
- Emerging photovoltaics.
Some 28 different subcategories are indicated by distinctive colored symbols.
The most recent world record for each technology is highlighted along the right edge in a flag that contains the efficiency and the symbol of the technology. The company or group that fabricated the device for each most-recent record is bolded on the plot.
The information plotted by NREL is provided in good faith, but NREL cannot accept direct responsibility for any errors or omissions. The plot is not copyrighted and may be used in presentations and publications, with a notation that states: "This plot is courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO."
|Label||Full Name (If Different from Label)|
|AIST||National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology|
|ARCO||Atlantic Richfield Company|
|ASU||Arizona State University|
|Boeing||The Boeing Co.|
|DGIST||Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology|
|EMPA||Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology|
|EPFL||École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne|
|FhG-ISE||Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems|
|FirstSolar||First Solar Inc.|
|Georgia Tech||Georgia Institute of Technology|
|Groningen||University of Groningen|
|HKUST||Hong Kong University of Science and Technology|
|IBM||International Business Machines|
|ICCAS||Institute of Chemistry–Chinese Academy of Sciences|
|IES-UPM||Instituto de Energía Solar–Universidad Politécnica de Madrid|
|ISCAS||Institute of Semiconductors–Chinese Academy of Sciences|
|ISFH||Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin|
|Kaneka||Kaneka Solar Energy|
|Konarka||Konarka Technologies Inc.|
|KRICT||Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology|
|MIT||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Mitsubishi||Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.|
|Monosolar||Monosolar Company Ltd.|
|NIMS||National Institute for Materials Science|
|No. Carolina State U.||North Carolina State University|
|NREL||National Renewable Energy Laboratory|
|Sandia||Sandia National Laboratories|
|Sanyo||Sanyo Electric Company Ltd.|
|SCUT-CSU||South China University of Technology - Central South University|
|SCUT-eFlexPV||South China University of Technology - eFlexPV|
|SolarJunc||Solar Junction Corp.|
|SpireSemicon||Spire Semiconductor LLC|
|Sumitomo||Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.|
|Tek of Taiwan|
|U. Dresden||University of Dresden|
|U. Linz||University of Linz|
|U. Maine||University of Maine|
|U. Queensland||University of Queensland|
|U. So. Florida||University of South Florida|
|U. Stuttgart||University of Stuttgart|
|U. Toronto||University of Toronto|
|UCLA||University of California, Los Angeles|
|UNIST||Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology|
|UNSW||University of New South Wales|
|ZSW||Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff- Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg)|