Insider Secrets

Insider Secrets

Learn how the PROs are making money from the oil and energy market.

Loading, please wait

New Solar Cell Technology could Yield 50% Conversion Efficiency

By
Posted on Thu, 17 January 2013 22:40 | 1

“At present, the world record triple-junction solar cell efficiency is 44 percent under concentration and it is generally accepted that a major technology breakthrough will be required for the efficiency of these cells to increase much further,” so states Dr. Robert Walters, a Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) Research Physicist.

Now Dr. Walters and a team of scientists from the Electronics Technology and Science Division at the NRL, in collaboration with other institues such as Imperial College London, have developed a new triple junction solar cell which has the potential to work at a conversion efficiency of 50 percent.

“This research has produced a novel, realistically achievable, lattice-matched, multi-junction solar cell design with the potential to break the 50 percent power conversion efficiency mark under concentrated illumination,” he said.

Related Article: Solar and Big Oil Join Forces in Middle East

As the name suggests multi-junction solar cells are made of several junctions which can be tuned to different wavelength bands of the solar spectrum to increase the energy absorbed and the overall efficiency of the cell. Eg. a triple junction cell can absorb the energy from three different wavelength bands.

In theory a cell with infinite junctions could have a conversion efficiency of around 87 percent. The barrier to developing cells with many junctions is the challenge of developing a semiconductor material which can attain a wide range of bandwidths and maintain a high crystalline quality.

The group of researchers have recently been awarded a grant from the US Department of Energy under the ARPA-E scheme in order to undertake in a three year materials and device development program to realize this new technology.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


Join the discussion

Special Reports

8 Mega Trends

8 Mega Trends

By Oil & Energy Insider Analysts

8 OIL & GAS INDUSTRY MEGA-TRENDS AND HOW TO PROFIT FROM THEM
Here's what our 400 global energy assets are telling us to be prepared for right now...

LNG Technology

LNG Technology

By Oil & Energy Insider Analysts

THE "FLOATING REFINERY" STOCK THAT COULD FUND YOUR RETIREMENT
This company's incredible tanker technology could eliminate many of the world's offshore pipelines...

Subsea Production

Subsea Production

By Oil & Energy Insider Analysts

THE END OF OFFSHORE DRILLING?
This disruptive market will grow 84% to 270% over the next five years: Discover the 6 equipment suppliers set to profit.

Leave a comment

  • GordonE on January 19 2013 said:
    Temperature (heat) also effects convergence efficiency (reduces it). In high energy energy environments, it tends to be hot. A paradox, isn't it.