One of the most exciting things about being involved in the renewable energy industry is the constant evolution of technologies, making renewable energy more attractive and more practical by the day.
And the latest news – that solar cell technology has been developed that achieves 44.7% efficiency – shows that it will become increasingly possible for us to be self-sufficient in terms of our energy needs.
The new solar cell – designed by a team of German and French scientists, surpassing competition after only over three years of research, and entering the roadmap at world class level, a new record efficiency of 44.7% was measured at a concentration of 297 suns. The exceptional efficiency has been achieved through the use of improved materials, optimized structure, and a new procedure called wafer bonding, which allows the scientists to connect two semiconductor crystals.
The solar cells are made out of several cells using different “III-V” semiconductor materials that are stacked on top of each other. The single sub cells absorb different wavelength ranges of the solar spectrum.
Currently, the concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) technology that the cells use requires extra money to be spent on such things aslenses, mirrors, and cooling systems, which makes it too expensive to use in standard solar PV systems…but ongoing research and development hopes to result in much lower costs in the near future.
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