NREL hails 31.1% PV cell landmark

The US’ National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has created a two-junction PV cell with a world record 31.1% conversion efficiency.

The 0.25-square-centimetre tandem cell, made of a gallium-indium phosphide cell atop a gallium-arsenide cell, was measured under the AM1.5 global spectrum at 1,000 W/m2.

The thin-film cell, covered on the front with a bilayer anti-reflection coating and on the back with a highly reflective gold contact layer, was grown inverted, similar to the NREL-developed inverted metamorphic multi-junction solar cell – and flipped during processing.

"Historically, scientists have bumped up the performance of multijunction cells by gradually improving the material quality and the internal electrical properties of the junctions – and by optimising variables such as the bandgaps and the layer thicknesses," says Log in to read complete article.

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