Efficiency of solar cells directly linked to R&D efforts

Professor Phillip Dale of the University of Luxembourg and Professor Mike Scarpulla of the University of Utah have discovered that researchers improve the efficiency of solar cells, the constituents of photovoltaic panels, at the same rate independently of the technology over the last decades. Two important consequences of the study are: (i) it is possible to measure the promise of new solar cell technologies at any stage of development and (ii) from the science of science perspective, the rate of scientific learning appears constant over the last decades, but hints of accelerated learning are discernible as ideas are cross-pollinated between the technologies.
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