This spectrum splitting solar cell, developed at the Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics at UNSW, represents a major innovation in rooftop solar cell design. In 2014 it broke the world record achieving over 40% efficiency from natural sunlight. It is a unique approach to improving rooftop solar efficiency focusing on a solar module design that can be applied to existing technology. The team is hoping to establish the design's feasibility by 2020. If successful they will look at combining cheaper silicon cells with other affordable cell technology to bring the cost of the module down.
Spectrum splitting, which involves using a combination of different technologies to extract energy from different wavelengths of sunlight, is occurring around the world. It most commonly involves splitting the energy between a photovoltaic array and a thermal (heat) system. Researchers are also looking at splitting between two solar cells for concentrator photovoltaics (for solar farming).
This project is unique as it looks at using unfocused direct sunlight (one sun) and applying the design to rooftop application.