WOW-POW = World Of Wonderful POWer: Solar Cell World Efficiency Record set at 40.8 Percent

Monday, August 18, 2008

Solar Cell World Efficiency Record set at 40.8 Percent

U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) scientists achieved a 40.8% world record in solar cell efficiency that converts 40.8 percent of the light into electricity. This is the highest confirmed efficiency of any photovoltaic device to date. The record setting solar cell design differs from the previous record holders. Traditional cells use germanium wafer as the bottom junction of the device where as the new design uses compositions of gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split the solar spectrum into three equal parts that are absorbed by each of the cell's three junctions for higher potential efficiencies. Known as inverted metamorphic triple-junction solar cells which are extremely thin and light and represents a new class of solar cells. NREL says that these new cells have an advantages in performance, design, operation and cost. Don’t look for these in your local solar market yet as the new cells are more suited for the space satellite market and for terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic arrays.
More Here