10 April 2013
Spectrolab sets 37.8% efficiency record for ground-based non-concentrator solar cell
Boeing Company says that its subsidiary Spectrolab Inc of Sylmar, CA, USA recently set a record of 37.8% for energy conversion efficiency in a ground-based solar cell without solar concentration (i.e. without the common practice of using lenses or mirrors to focus solar rays onto the cell).
This exceeds the record of 37.7% for research-level non-concentrator solar cells, set by Japan’s Sharp Corp last December using a triple-junction III-V solar cell.
The new efficiency record has been verified by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO.
The cell used a new class of high-efficiency multi-junction solar cell leveraging Boeing technology that makes semiconductor materials more reliable, it is claimed. "We expect this solar cell technology will have significant benefits for space, ground-based, and sensor applications," says Spectrolab’s president Troy Dawson.
Spectrolab believes that its solar cell technology can attain higher levels of efficiency, "possibly more than 45%, even under low concentrations," according to Nasser Karam, vice president for advanced technology.