Greatcell Solar’s third-generation solar cells have achieved a new world record for efficiency, the company says.

Dutch research partner Solliance this week demonstrated record solar conversion efficiency, beating its previous record of 12.6 per cent, to reach 13.5 per cent.

Average solar panels can generate between 11 and 22 per cent efficiency, but unlike typical solar panels which use silicon metals or rare earths, Solliance tested its perovskite-based technology.

That is, technology using a class of compounds with a chemical structure that makes them particularly good at capturing energy.

Perovskites act as a light absorber, which when combined with a layer of titanium oxide acts to generate an electrical current.

“Following the consortium’s previous cell world record announced earlier this year, this latest breakthrough is another step towards the rapid introduction of this attractive, new type of efficient and low-cost solar cell technology,” Solliance said in a statement.

More than just for solar panels, the technology can be processed into thin, lightweight and potentially semi-transparent modules that can be built into window or curved construction elements.

News of the world record did little to excite shareholders on Wednesday, however — the stock remaining unchanged at 18c.

Greatcell (formerly Dyesol) shares over the past year. Source:
Greatcell (formerly Dyesol) shares over the past year. Source:

The technology uses less energy to manufacture, produces a stable electric current and according to the company has a strong competitive advantage in low light conditions compared to their incumbents.

While the technology has largely proven its merit, Greatcell (ASX:GSL) will still have to face the hurdle of production.

“The metals project at Solliance is hitting its targets. The successful translation of this exciting PSC technology from the laboratory to the factory will open up massive commercial opportunities,” managing director Richard Caldwells aid.

“A particularly pleasing feature of the current progress is the possibility to solar enable commercial and industrial roofing using low-cost R2R processes, thus opening up a whole new space to capture the Sun’s energy, all day, every day.”

The world record comes just a week after the company’s Italian subsidiary received a $1.1 million grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project to develop their technology on glass and metal materials.

GSL has also teamed up with China’s largest listed solar company, $875 million JinkoSolar, a global leader in the photovoltaic solar space.

In their latest quarterly the company recorded $308,000 in customer sales and had $1.9 million left in the bank at the end of the period.

They expect to spend $2.9 million to December, drawing on a financing facility and R&D funding.