Heerlen, NL, 24 Sep 2009 08:00 CEST
Royal DSM N.V., the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company headquartered in the Netherlands, announces today that its anti-reflective coating system has contributed to achieving the highest energy conversion ever of a full-size solar module.
The world record of 16.4%, achieved by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), was verified by global certification and testing organization TÜV. The previous record of 15.5% from 1998 was broken by an impressive 0.9 percentage point. A significant part of this efficiency improvement can be attributed to DSM’s coating.
The new record efficiency of 16.4% means a substantial step in the ongoing quest to bring solar energy closer to "grid parity", the point at which solar energy is equal to or cheaper than conventional electricity. This would make it broadly accessible to both industrial and residential users without state and/or government subsidies. The successful utilization of DSM's anti-reflective coating confirms its performance leadership and will contribute to the speed of implementation of anti-reflective coatings in the rapidly growing solar energy market.
Due to an ever increasing demand for generation of sustainable energy, solar power will play a critically important role in future energy supply. To enable these developments, innovative companies like DSM are constantly working on technology breakthroughs that allow a significant cost reduction in solar systems.
One such breakthrough has been the development of DSM’s anti-reflective coating on solar glass, which offers the best performance in terms of light transmission, durability and flexibility. Application of the coating to solar glass sheets has shown an increase in light transmission of around 4%, leading to a transmission rate of approximately 96% for wavelengths in the 400nm - 1200nm range.
Commenting on the new record, Paul Wyers, manager of ECN Solar Energy, said: “The added value of anti-reflective coatings in improving the efficiency of solar modules is significant. We were glad we could make use of the latest technology in this field to set our world record. Our cooperation with DSM helped us achieve a premium conversion efficiency of 16.4% on a full-size solar module, which is a huge leap from the previous record.”