The demonstrated device, according to the academics, is built with interfaces between the active cell layers that improve the top cell carrier collection. The cell was built with texturing and a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) passivation of a silicon back surface.
The new results mark an improvement on the institute’s previous 24.3% efficiency record. The III-V tandem solar cell is directly grown on silicon.
Researchers in France have tried to predict the competitiveness of tandem PV modules against commercial crystalline products in 2030. Crystalline products will be 22-24% efficient in a decade, according to the researchers, possibly 25% if interdigitated back-contact heterojunction versions become mainstream. To compete, tandem devices will need to offer similar life spans and degradation rates, plus efficiencies of 30%.
Russian researchers have improved the efficiency of a thin-fim GaAs‐based solar cell by 0.9% by applying single‐walled carbon nanotubes as the topmost layer. The cell also showed a slight increase in the short circuit current density, from 16.9 to 17.9 mA/cm2.
Researchers have integrated A3B5 semiconductors on a silicon substrate in a prototype solar cell and claim the technique could enable the production of III-V solar cells with conversion efficiencies of around 40%.
European satellite operator Eutelsat has revealed one of the two solar arrays on its recently launched 5 West B satellite has been lost. Only 45% of the craft’s generation capacity can be operated, hitting the company’s bottom line to the tune of $5-10 million.
The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory reports further progress in bringing down the cost of III-V solar cells. Scientists have refined their ‘brand new, 50-year-old’ D-HVPE technology to speed up the production rate for gallium arsenide solar cells by a factor of more than 20. The development is a potential step toward making incredibly efficient solar cells cost effective for everyday purposes.
Scientists at Russia’s Skoltech Institute of Science and Technology have demonstrated a solar cell with record high radiation stability. The scientists say the cells, based on an organic polymer compound, could be a strong candidate to meet the requirements of powering satellites in lower earth orbit.
A research paper from scientists at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory outlines a new approach to the production of gallium arsenide based cells. The approach, termed ‘germanium on nothing’, could enable the cost effective, high volume production of PV cells based on III-V materials such as gallium arsenide.
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