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The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, is seen on launch Pad-0A during sunrise, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Antares will launch with the Cygnus spacecraft filled with over 5,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station, including science experiments, experiment hardware, spare parts, and crew provisions. The Orbital-3 mission is Orbital Sciences' third contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Launch is scheduled for Monday (Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Australian Researchers Achieve Record Ever Solar Power Efficiency

Australian researchers have achieved record solar efficiency, and set a world record with 40 percent of conversion efficiency, that is a breakthrouhg in solar power studies, reported media on Monday.

The team from the University of New South Wales has achieved a record 40.4 percent conversion efficiency by using standard solar cells combined with a mirror and filters, with a special combination that reduces wasted energy.

The new study surpasses the previous world solar power efficiency record of 36 percent, according to Martin Green, director of the university’s Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (PV).

solarThe breakthrough is expected to make, otherwise, an expensive solar energy reach within the limits of its competitors like fuel energy that contributes highly towards the environmental pollution.

Otherwise, the researchers have found the solar energy highly expensive with less conversion efficiency and unless they reach above 50%, it is unlikely to a viable alternative to fuel energy.

Green said that the team would aim at raising the efficiency levels to 42 percent next year, which is about halfway towards the ultimate goal of 86 percent.

“It’s horse and buggy days as far as solar (power) is concerned at the moment. There’s just this enormous potential for improvement in efficiency,” Green was quoted as saying by the Fairfax Media Monday.

He said that the world’s best efficiency was created by stacking three solar panels in a way that they captured energy from different wavelengths of sunlight. The team then used mirrors and filters to direct excess light to a fourth photovoltaic (PV) cell to further boost efficiency.

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