This is a major step towards reducing further the costs of solar electricity
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin jointly announced today having achieved a new world record for the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells. 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. This indicates that 44.7% of the solar spectrum’s energy, from ultraviolet through to the infrared, is converted into electrical energy. This is a major step towards reducing further the costs of solar electricity and continues to pave the way to the 50% efficiency roadmap.
Back in May 2013, the German-French team of Fraunhofer ISE, Soitec, CEA-Leti and the Helmholtz Center Berlin had already announced a solar cell with 43.6% efficiency. Building on this result, further intensive research work and optimization steps led to the present efficiency of 44.7%.
These solar cells are used in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV), a technology which achieves more than twice the efficiency of conventional PV power plants in sun-rich locations. The terrestrial use of so-called III-V multi-junction solar cells, which originally came from space technology, has prevailed to realize highest efficiencies for the conversion of sunlight to electricity. In this multi-junction solar cell, several cells made out of different III-V semiconductor materials are stacked on top of each other. The single subcells absorb different wavelength ranges of the solar spectrum.
“We are incredibly proud of our team which has been working now for three years on this four-junction solar cell,” says Frank Dimroth, Department Head and Project Leader in charge of this development work at Fraunhofer ISE. “This four-junction solar cell contains our collected expertise in this area over many years. Besides improved materials and optimization of the structure, a new procedure called wafer bonding plays a central role. With this technology, we are able to connect two semiconductor crystals, which otherwise cannot be grown on top of each other with high crystal quality. In this way we can produce the optimal semiconductor combination to create the highest efficiency solar cells.”
“This world record increasing our efficiency level by more than 1 point in less than 4 months demonstrates the extreme potential of our four-junction solar cell design which relies on Soitec bonding techniques and expertise,” says André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, Soitec’s Chairman and CEO. “It confirms the acceleration of the roadmap towards higher efficiencies which represents a key contributor to competitiveness of our own CPV systems. We are very proud of this achievement, a demonstration of a very successful collaboration.”
“This new record value reinforces the credibility of the direct semiconductor bonding approaches that is developed in the frame of our collaboration with Soitec and Fraunhofer ISE. We are very proud of this new result, confirming the broad path that exists in solar technologies for advanced III-V semiconductor processing,” said Leti CEO Laurent Malier.
Concentrator modules are produced by Soitec (started in 2005 under the name Concentrix Solar, a spin-off of Fraunhofer ISE). This particularly efficient technology is employed in solar power plants located in sun-rich regions with a high percentage of direct radiation. Presently Soitec has CPV installations in 18 different countries including Italy, France, South Africa and California.
The Latest on: Concentrator photovoltaics
- Concentrator Photovoltaic Market Size 1150 million US$ and reach 2710 million US$ in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 13.0% from 2019on July 12, 2019 at 7:10 am
This research report titled “Global (United States, European Union and China) Concentrator Photovoltaic Market Research Report 2019-2025” has been added to the wide online database managed by Market ... […]
- SolFocus raises $47.5m to boost production of CPV solar systemson July 6, 2019 at 5:00 pm
US developer of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems, SolFocus has raised $47.5m to accelerate expansion of its manufacturing operations. US developer of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) solar ... […]
- Indian government tenders another 1.2 GW of solaron July 2, 2019 at 5:16 am
As per the guidelines issued by SECI for Phase V implementation, project selection will be technology agnostic, meaning crystalline silicon, thin film or concentrator PV – with or without trackers – ... […]
- Soitec completes largest CPV plant in Italyon June 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Soitec, a specialist in semiconductor materials for the electronic and energy industries, announced that it has completed the construction and grid connection of Italy’s largest concentrator ... […]
- ‘Magic’ alloy could mean cheaper solar poweron June 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm
“Concentrator photovoltaics could power the next generation.” Concentrator photovoltaics gather and focus sunlight onto small, high-efficiency solar cells made of gallium arsenide or germanium ... […]
- Luminescent Solar Concentrators: The Next Generation Of Transparent PV Deviceson May 24, 2019 at 2:09 pm
The interest for the Luminescent Solar Concentrators (LSCs) is currently growing and growing because they represent the only technology capable of realizing semitransparent, electrodeless PV devices ... […]
- "Liquid Metal" at the Center of IBM Innovation to Significantly Reduce Cost of Concentrator Photovoltaic Cellson May 14, 2019 at 5:00 pm
While concentrator-based photovoltaics technologies have been around since the 1970s, they have received renewed interest in recent times. With very high concentrations, they have the potential to ... […]
- Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) 2019 Market by Industrial Vertical, Mobility Type, Product Function, Power Technology and Regionon April 11, 2019 at 1:56 am
Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Industry 2019 Description:- A Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV)system transforms light energy into electrical energy in the similar way the conventional photovoltaic ... […]
- CPV-15, the 15th International Conference on Concentrator Photovoltaicson March 26, 2019 at 5:00 pm
The 15th International Conference on Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV-15) is the premier technical conference in the areas of high- and low-concentration PV components, modules, and tracker-based PV ... […]
- Concentrator Photovoltaic Market Size Set to Reach USD 2.1 billion by 2024 | Hexa Researchon February 6, 2019 at 5:27 am
The global concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) market is estimated to grow at a CAGR around 14% from 2016 to 2024 (forecast period). It will reach nearly USD 2.1 billion by 2024. The market had a size of ... […]
via Google News and Bing News