European researchers achieve record efficiency of 41% for solar cells

January 19 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

solar cellEuropean researchers at Fraunhofer ISE have achieved another record efficiency of 41.1% in the conversion of sunlight into electricity using a ‘multi-junction’ class of solar cells.

The cells are made out of gallium-based materials suited for the solar spectrum that reaches the surface of the Earth.  The team managed to increase the regions of the material that are electrically active to attain the high efficiencies.

Prof. Eicke R. Weber, Director of Fraunhofer ISE emphasizes, “This is an especially good example of how the control of crystal defects in semiconductors can lead to a breakthrough in technology.”

Fraunhofer ISE is working with Azur Space and Concentrix Solar GmbH to commercialize their technology.  “The high efficiencies of our solar cells are the most effective way to reduce the electricity generation costs for concentrating PV systems,” says Dr. Andreas Bett, Department Head at Fraunhofer ISE. “We want that photovoltaics becomes competitive with conventional methods of electricity production as soon as possible. With our new efficiency results, we have moved a big step further towards achieving this goal!”

PV Tech News - Press Release

 

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