Dual-Junction Solar Cell Efficiency Record Set BY NREL & CSEM

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Originally published on Sustainnovate.
By Henry Lindon

NREL & CSEM Achieve New World Efficiency Record For Dual-Junction Solar Cells

A new world efficiency record for the conversion of non-concentrated sunlight into electricity via dual-junction III-V/Si solar cells has been achieved by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), according to a new press release.

The new world record — an efficiency of 29.8% — was achieved via the use of a top layer/cell composed of gallium indium phosphide (courtesy NREL) and a bottom layer/cell composed of crystalline silicon (courtesy CSEM), incorporated using silicon heterojunction technology.

“It’s a record within this mechanically stacked category,” stated David Young, a senior researcher at NREL. “The performance of the dual-junction device exceeded the theoretical limit of 29.4% for crystalline silicon solar cells.”

“We believe that the silicon heterojunction technology is today the most efficient silicon technology for application in tandem solar cells,” stated Christophe Ballif, head of PV activities at CSEM.

“CSEM partnered with the NREL scientists with the objective to demonstrate that 30% efficient tandem cells can be realized using silicon heterojunction bottom cells, thanks to the combination with high performance top cells such as those developed by NREL,” noted Matthieu Despeisse, the manager of crystalline silicon activities at CSEM.

The researchers involved in the work think that the new approach can be improved to allow for even greater conversion efficiencies than that of the new record.

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