Use light better
Silicon-based solar cells and solar modules are widely used around the world and are therefore cheap and can be produced in large quantities. But their photovoltaic efficiency is generally limited to 29.4 percent due to different physical properties.
However, this limitation can be overcome by coating the solar cells with additional materials – creating a “multijunction solar cell.” This design essentially stacks multiple light-absorbing layers on top of each other so that each layer absorbs a certain portion of the color spectrum of sunlight and converts it into electrical energy. This multi-layer concept can significantly increase cell efficiency.
New solar cell
The research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Research ISE and the NWO AMOLF Institute recently developed a new cell design with two semiconductor layers made of gallium indium phosphide (GaInP) and gallium arsenide phosphide (GaInAsP).
More expensive to produce
The layer stack is then covered with a specially developed metal/polymer nanocoating. This back reflector improves light capture within the solar cell, increasing efficiency to more than 36 percent for the first time.
The new ultra-efficient solar cells are more expensive to produce than traditional silicon solar cells, which actually achieve efficiencies of up to 27 percent. However, the very high efficiency of a multijunction solar cell is a major advantage for applications where available space is limited, such as in solar-powered electric vehicles, consumer products, and drones. The new light management concept also applies to other types of solar cells, such as: B. Silicon multijunction perovskite solar cells, which could also be improved.
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Power plants, batteries and solar modules
- A research team develops a solar cell with a record efficiency of up to 36.1%
- Overcoming the limitations of silicon through the concept of multi-junction solar cells
- Multijunction solar cells use multiple conversion layers
- The special nano-coating improves light capture in the solar cells
- Ultra-efficient solar cells are more expensive but more efficient
- The concept of light management also applies to other types of solar cells.
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