Multi-junction solar cells are both the most efficient type of solar cell on the market today and the most expensive type of solar cell to produce. In a proof-of-concept paper, researchers from North Carolina State University detail a new approach for creating multi-junction solar cells using off-the-shelf components, resulting in lower cost, high-efficiency solar cells for use in multiple applications.
Multi-junction, or stacked, solar cells are currently the most efficient cells on the market, converting up to 45% of the solar energy they absorb into electricity. The cells are constructed by stacking semiconductors with varying bandgaps on top of one another, thereby allowing the cell to absorb differing wavelengths of solar radiation. However, these cells are much more expensive to produce than less efficient thin solar films.
“We want to create high efficiency solar cells at a reasonable cost,” says Salah Bedair, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NC State and lead author of the research. “Silicon-based thin solar cells are very popular because the material has around 20% efficiency and the cells cost about 1/10th what a multi-junction solar cell costs. And other low cost, lower efficiency materials are gaining popularity as well. If we could create stacked solar cells using this existing technology we would be well on our way to reaching our goal.”
However, you cannot merely stack different solar cells on top of each other – the different materials are structurally incompatible, and so charges cannot pass through them to be collected. To solve that problem in current multi-junction solar cells heavily doped metals are used to create a tunnel junction between the various layers – adding significant expense and complexity to the multi-junction solar cell’s creation.
Bedair and his team developed a simpler approach, utilizing intermetallic bonding to bond solar cells made of different materials. In a proof-of-concept, the team stacked an off-the-shelf gallium arsenide solar cell on top of a silicon solar cell.
“In multi-junction solar cells the tunnel junction enables electric connectivity by acting as a metal-to-metal connection,” Bedair says. “In our system, indium serves as a shortcut to that. The existing metal contacts of the individual cells are covered with indium films. The indium films bond to themselves easily at room temperature under low pressure. The result is a solar cell made of two different materials that is mechanically stacked and electrically connected.
“With this technique we are able to take advantage of inexpensive, off-the-shelf solutions without having to develop all new technology. Manufacturers could simply tweak their existing products slightly to increase their efficiency in multi-junction solar cells, rather than having to create new products.”
A patent application has been submitted for the work. The authors are interested in collaborating with potential academic and industry partners.
The Latest on: Multi-junction solar cells
via Google News
The Latest on: Multi-junction solar cells
- JinkoSolar Holding Company (JKS) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcripton April 9, 2021 at 10:00 am
Q4 2020 Earnings CallApr 09, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ETContents: Prepared Remarks Questions and Answers Call Participants Prepared Remarks: OperatorHello, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing ...
- Film Silicon Science and Technologyon April 2, 2021 at 1:58 am
Novel intermediate reflector layer for optical and morphological tuning in the micromorph thin film tandem cell 8. Development of nanocrystalline silicon based multi-junction solar cell technology for ...
- 5N Plus acquiring AZUR SPACE for €73-79mon March 31, 2021 at 9:39 am
multi-junction solar cells for both satellites and terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic (PV) solar systems... SHARE THIS POST 5N Plus NewsMORE Related Stocks Find News ...
- 5N Plus to acquire AZUR SPACEon March 30, 2021 at 7:52 am
Located in Heilbronn, Germany with a workforce of 240 employees, AZUR is a developer and manufacturer of multi-junction solar cells for space and terrestrial concentrated photovoltaic (PV ...
- Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnologyon March 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Gambogic Acid Affects Ribosomal Occurrence in Glioma Cells by Downregulating the Phosphoinositide Kinase-3/Protein Kinase B/Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling Pathway.
- Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited hands over 100th battery to ISRO for Chandrayaan-3on March 19, 2021 at 10:30 am
BHEL has also been fabricating space-grade solar panels for ISRO's satellites since 20 years. They recently completed testing 75,000 multi-junction solar cells at their premises.
- New design for antireflective coating in multijunction solar cellson March 18, 2021 at 2:02 am
Scientists in Madrid investigated the use of antireflective coatings in multijunction solar cells, drawing several conclusions that could further improve the efficiency of these cells. Their ...
- III-V multi-junction solar cell with 39% efficiencyon March 13, 2021 at 10:58 am
The cell was monolithically grown on gallium arsenide by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). A group of scientists from the Tampere University in Finland has developed a III-V multi-junction solar cell ...
- PV (Photovoltaics) Market 2021 : Analysis of Key Trends, Industry Dynamics and Future Growth 2026 with Top Countries Dataon February 28, 2021 at 5:02 pm
A specialized category of solar cells - called multi-junction or tandem cells - are used in applications requiring very low weight and very high efficiencies, such as satellites and military ...
- Solar powered performance guaranteed for acrylicon February 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Concentrator Optics (Cölbe, Germany) manufactures Fresnel lens parquets for solar concentrating photovoltaics (CPV). With CPV, sunlight is concentrated by optical elements onto high-efficiency ...
via Bing News