Mitsubishi Electric Corp claims it has improved its conversion efficiency rate for a 150 x 150mm practical-size multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) cell by 0.3 points, from 18.6% to 18.9%.

Combined with the technology previously announced to improve the photoelectric conversion efficiency rate in multi-crystalline silicon PV cells, and a new method that efficiently absorbs infrared rays in sunlight, the company claims it is able to achieve a new world record of 18.9%.

The company said it has improved efficiency in utilizing infrared rays by 26% compared to its previous PV cells. The new PV cell has a rear-surface reflection structure, which reflects infrared rays that reach its rear surface to allow the cell to absorb more light.

To increase the photoelectric conversion efficiency rate in PV cells, it is also important to reduce the amount of light reflected from their front surface to take more sunlight into the cells. This new PV cell also adopts the low-reflective honeycomb-textured structure as the one previously developed by the company that achieved an 18.6% conversion efficiency rate.

This multi-crystal silicon PV cell technology will be used to produce PV modules starting from fiscal 2011.