A team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Green, Research Director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at  the University of New South Wales, have claimed the highest efficiency for solar power ever recorded.

The team has achieved 43% of sunlight converted into electricity at the research stage. The UNSW team combined a cell developed locally with cells supplied by two US groups to demonstrate a multi-cell combination that has set the new benchmark.

Professor Green said that "because sunlight is made up of many colours of different energy, ranging from the high energy ultraviolet to the low energy infrared, a combination of solar cells of different materials can convert sunlight more efficiently than any single cell".

The team used its five-cell combination to convert 43% of the sunlight hitting it into electricity, improving on the previous world record of 42.7% held by the University of Delaware.

Last year, Professor Green’s ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence team set a world record of 25 per cent efficiency for an individual solar cell.