Published on August 13th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz4
Lab Sets Record for Solar Cell Efficiency
August 13th, 2008 by Ariel Schwartz
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the United States has announced that a new device developed by its scientists can convert 40.8 percent of light that hits it into electricity. This bests the previous record of 40.7 percent set by a different organization.
According to NREL spokesman George Douglas, the new device is both thinner and lighter than the previous model, which used a germanium wafer.
This solar cell, however, uses gallium indium phosphide and gallium indium arsenide to split light into 3 parts, each of which are then absorbed by the cell’s 3 layers.
The lab says that the new solar cell is an excellent candidate for concentrated photovoltaic arrays as well as space satellites.
While I haven’t seen anything mentioned about possible pricing, I can only assume that this technology will be unaffordable for most businesses and individuals for a long time to come.
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