This question is part of the Super Big Solar Panel FAQ from Solar Mango, where expert answers to over 100 important questions on solar panels are provided.


It is likely that you have heard about solar cells with much higher efficiencies, and might have read about efficiencies close to 40% being achieved in limited pilots or in labs.

These are mainly from the concentrating photovoltaics technology.

Concentrating PV technology concentrates more sunlight onto a unit area of solar cells, resulting in much higher efficiency of sunlight conversion to electricity. CPV typically uses lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto high-efficiency solar cells.

Super Big Solar Panel FAQGet to know answers to over 100 important questions on solar panels from here.


These kinds of solar cells are typically more expensive than the cells used in conventional photovoltaic systems. The concentration of sunlight decreases the required cell area while increasing the cell efficiency. This technology has potential for solar cell efficiencies greater than 40% using concentrating mirrors to compete with alternative solar technologies. Real life efficiencies have already touched 35%.

Please note however that, owing to their high cost of deployment, CPV is still a niche technology and is not commercially deployed on any scale anywhere in the world, as of mid 2016

Source: Concentrating Photovoltaics from Solar Mango’s Solar Dictionary

You Might Want to Check Out these Questions Too on Types of Solar Panels

  • What is a Crystalline Silicon/c-Si Solar Cell/Module?-Here
  • How do Monocrystalline Solar Panels Compare with Polycrystalline Solar Panels?-Here
  • What is an Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Module? Is it Used Now?-Here
  • What are CdTe (Cadmium Telluride ) Thin Film Solar Cells? Are These Commercially Available?-Here
  • What are CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide) Thin Film Solar Cells? Are These Available Commercially Today?-Here
  • What is a CIS Solar Module? Are These Commercially Available Today?-Here
  • What are Bifacial Solar Cells? Are they Commercially Available?-Here
  • What Single-junction Solar Cells? How are they Different from Conventional Solar Cells?-Here
  • What is a Tandem Solar Cell? How is it Different from the Conventional Solar Cell?-Here
  • What is a Transparent Solar Cell? And What are Its Advantages Over Conventional Cells?-Here
  • What are Heterojunction Solar Cells? Are these Commercially Available?-Here
  • What is the Smallest Sized Solar Panel Available Currently?-Here
  • What is the Largest Capacity/Size Solar Panel Currently?-Here
  • What are n-type Solar Cells? And how are they Different from p-type Cells?-Here
  • What are Multi-junction Solar Cells? How are They Different from Conventional Solar Cells?-Here