Solar cell with world's highest conversion efficiency of 37.7% sets new record with triple-junction compound solar cell

Dec 05, 2012
Solar cell with world's highest conversion efficiency of 37.7% sets new record with triple-junction compound solar cell
Triple-junction compound solar cell with the world's highest conversion efficiency of 37.7%.

Sharp Corporation has achieved the world's highest solar cell conversion efficiency of 37.7% using a triple-junction compound solar cell in which three photo-absorption layers are stacked together.

Sharp achieved this latest breakthrough as a result of a research and development initiative promoted by 's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on the theme of "R&D on Innovative ." Measurement of the value of 37.7%, which sets a new record for the world's highest conversion efficiency, was confirmed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

Solar cell with world's highest conversion efficiency of 37.7% sets new record with triple-junction compound solar cell
InGaP: Indium Gallium Phosphide; GaAs: Gallium Arsenide; InGaAs: Indium Gallium Arsenide; Tunnel junction: Semiconductor junction where electricity flows as if through metal.

Compound solar cells utilize photo- layers made from compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium. The basic structure of this latest triple-junction compound solar cell uses proprietary Sharp technology that enables efficient stacking of the three photo-absorption layers, with InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) as the bottom layer.

To achieve this latest increase in conversion efficiency, Sharp capitalized on the ability of the new cell to efficiently absorb light from different wavelengths in sunlight and convert it into electricity. Sharp also increased the active area for converting light into electricity through optimal processing of the cell edges. These improvements led to higher maximum output levels for the solar cell and enabled Sharp to achieve a solar cell of 37.7%—the highest in the world.

Sharp's aim for the future is to apply this latest development success to concentrator photovoltaic power systems that use lenses to collect and convert sunlight into electricity. The company also foresees numerous other practical applications for the cells, such as on space satellites and vehicles.

Explore further: Turning bio-waste into hydrogen

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Turning bio-waste into hydrogen

18 hours ago

Whilst hydrogen cars look set to be the next big thing in an increasingly carbon footprint-aware society, sustainable methods to produce hydrogen are still in their early stages. The HYTIME project is working on a novel production ...

Economical and agile offshore construction ship

Jul 25, 2014

Siemens is currently installing the power supply and propulsion systems into a new multi-purpose offshore construction ship for Toisa Ltd. The ship, which is being built by the Korean company Hyundai Heavy ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dan42day
3.5 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2012
The new cell architecture developed at the David Ben-Gurion National Solar Research Center at BGU can exceed an ultra-efficient 40 percent conversion efficiency with intensities equal to 10,000 suns.


Taken from a Physorg article titled :
Team develops side-illuminated ultra-efficient solar cell designs Nov, 8 2012


Be sceptical of record breaking claims around here!
dimmock_j
2 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2012
Regarding claims with a degree of scepticism is always correct. However in this case it is unfounded, just a poorly worded report.
Sharp's world record efficiency of 37.7% is measured at 1 Sun. Current WR for concentration is 43.5%.