Panasonic showcases its enhanced HIT solar cell, which has one of the highest efficiency ratings of any standard commercial solar cell to date.
Panasonic Corporation has announced the development of their new and improved HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin Layer) solar cell. This solar cell has a reported conversion efficiency of 25.6 percent, the highest that is ever achieved in any standard commercial solar cell developed for mass production.
HIT solar cells are the proprietary creation of Panasonic, which are advertised as solar cells with a primary mono-thin crystalline silicon wafer covered by even thinner amorphous silicon layers. The design of the HIT solar cell is more on improving power generation than actually increasing light absorption yield, thus still increasing overall solar cell efficiency.
The 25.6 percent efficiency rate was achieved largely due to the improvements made to the proprietary heterojunction technology. In addition, absorption yield was also improved due to the placement of electrodes at the back of the cell, which opens a larger solar cell surface area to light reception.
Previously, Panasonic did hold another efficiency record using an ordinary crystalline silicon-based solar cell. The previous solar cell, which was unveiled just last year, held a record efficiency of 24.7 percent.
It is important to note that these efficiency statistics are of course only a representation of the practical efficiency rates of commercial solar cells. Breakthrough wise, several research organizations have already made it way past the 30 percent solar theoretical efficiency barrier, even achieving almost 50 percent efficiency using experimental multi-junction compound solar cells.