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Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems claims to have set a new world record of 22.3% for the efficiency of multicrystalline photovoltaic cells. This result compares with efficiencies for reference materials of about 19.5%. The institute used highly pure multicrystalline silicon produced by Wacker Chemie as its starting material. Wacker says it optimized key processing steps, including steps to enhance plasma texture and improve cell connectivity, to generate the silicon. The experiments show multicrystalline polysilicon “is nowhere near reaching its limits,” says Karl Hesse, head of Wacker Polysilicon’s R&D unit.
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