Solar cells just got a boost in efficiency thanks to a couple of scientists at the University of Delaware. The news cells can convert 42.8% of the light that strikes them into electricity, which is a step up from the previous record of 40.7%.
The cells do this by splitting light into high energy, low energy, and medium energy chunks. The light is then directed to different materials depending on what type it is, eeking electrons out of it. DARPA is pushing for a goal of 50% efficiency, which would go a long way towards making solar power a more practical alternative energy source. [CNET]