• 5 minutes Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 11 minutes Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 17 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 1 day The Discount Airline Model Is Coming for Europe’s Railways
  • 11 hours Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 42 mins Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 19 hours Pakistan: "Heart" Of Terrorism and Global Threat
  • 5 hours Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 6 hours Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 1 day Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 18 hours Are Trump's steel tariffs working? Seems they are!
  • 2 days Batteries Could Be a Small Dotcom-Style Bubble
  • 2 days Newspaper Editorials Across U.S. Rebuke Trump For Attacks On Press
  • 2 days France Will Close All Coal Fired Power Stations By 2021
  • 2 days Don't Expect Too Much: Despite a Soaring Economy, America's Annual Pay Increase Isn't Budging
  • 2 days Scottish Battery ‘Breakthrough’ Could Charge Electric Cars In Seconds

New Solar Cell Technology could Yield 50% Conversion Efficiency

“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 | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • GordonE on January 18 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.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News