Novel solar cell could break conversion efficiency barrier

Discussion in 'Energy' started by Matthew, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Novel solar cell could break conversion efficiency barrier

    15 January 2013



    Read more: Novel solar cell could break conversion efficiency barrier | News | The Engineer
     
  2. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Lower solar panel prices fuels rise in renewable energy usage...
    :clap2:
    Cheaper solar panels fuel rise in renewable energy
    Jun 12,`13 -- A dramatic drop in the price of solar power technology last year helped the continued growth of renewable energy, according to a U.N.-backed report published Wednesday.
     
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    Funny how the solar power people never told us that there was a 50% conversion efficiency barrier until now.
     
  4. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Funny that you are that ignorant. For silicon, the barrier is about 34%. For thin film, no barrier, just how to coax the current out of the panel. Were you actually to research a subject, instead of just flap-yapping about it, you would know of the various efficiency 'barriers' for each type of solar cell.

    NRL Designs Multi-Junction Solar Cell to Break Efficiency Barrier - Yahoo! Finance

    U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists in the Electronics Technology and Science Division, in collaboration with the Imperial College London and MicroLink Devices, Inc., Niles, Ill., have proposed a novel triple-junction solar cell with the potential to break the 50 percent conversion efficiency barrier, which is the current goal in multi-junction photovoltaic development.

    “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,” said Robert Walters, Ph.D., NRL research physicist. “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.”

    In multi-junction (MJ) solar cells, each junction is ‘tuned’ to different wavelength bands in the solar spectrum to increase efficiency. High bandgap semiconductor material is used to absorb the short wavelength radiation with longer wavelength parts transmitted to subsequent semiconductors. In theory, an infinite-junction cell could obtain a maximum power conversion percentage of nearly 87 percent. The challenge is to develop a semiconductor material system that can attain a wide range of bandgaps and be grown with high crystalline quality.

    By exploring novel semiconductor materials and applying band structure engineering, via strain-balanced quantum wells, the NRL research team has produced a design for a MJ solar cell that can achieve direct band gaps from 0.7 to 1.8 electron volts (eV) with materials that are all lattice-matched to an indium phosphide (InP) substrate.
     

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