Champion Photovoltaic Module Efficiency Chart

NREL maintains a chart of the highest confirmed conversion efficiencies for champion modules for a range of photovoltaic technologies, plotted from 1988 to the present.

Learn how NREL can help your team with certified efficiency measurements.

Chart of champion module efficiency versus years, with 24 curves that all start low to the left and rise approximately linearly to the upper right

Access our champion module efficiency data.

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Or download the full data file or data guide.

Module Chart Explanatory Notes

Modules 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 module total area or the area defined by an aperture.

Module efficiency results are provided within these families of semiconductors:

  • Silicon
  • Amorphous silicon
  • GaAs III-V
  • Hybrid
  • Chalcogenide
  • Emerging photovoltaics.

Modules are also delineated by area (square centimeters) into four clusters highlighted by colored circles:

  • >14,000 cm2: large module (orange)
  • 6,500–14,000 cm2: standard module (yellow)
  • 800–6,500 cm2: small module (green)
  • 200–800 cm2: mini-module (gray).

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)
Alta  Alta Devices
Amonix Amonix Inc.
ARCO Atlantic Richfield Co.
BP Solar  
BP Solarex  
ECN Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands
ECN Petten  
Fraunhofer ISE Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems
FirstSolar First Solar Inc.
Fuji Electric  
Gochermann Gochermann Solar Technology
Golden Photon  
Kaneka Kaneka Solar Energy
LG Electronics  
Pacific Solar  
Photon Energy  
Schott Solar  
Solar Cells Inc.  
Showa Shell  
Siemens Solar  
Sandia Sandia National Laboratories
Solar Frontier  
SunPower SunPower Corp.
TEL Solar  
Texas Instruments  
Trina Solar  
Trubbach Labs  
UNSW University of New South Wales
USSC United Solar Systems Corp.