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Futuristic device is helping scientists break solar-efficiency record

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Stuart Smith
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Looking a little like the world-saving stones from sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, a new device is expected to have a big impact on renewable energy.

Built by Mark Keevers and Martin Green from the University of New South Wales UNSW , the unique prism could help make solar panels cheaper and more efficient.

The prism has a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency rate of 34.5 percent, Keevers told Mashable Australia.

The number has been independently confirmed by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory USNREL , Keevers added.

The USNREL has been contacted for comment.

"Right now, this is a proof of concept prototype," Keevers said.

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