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New Solar Cell Design Could Reach 40% Efficiency

A team of researchers at Ben-Gurion University of Negev (BGU) has created what appears to be a solar cell that has unusually high conversion rates when exposed to sunlight at a wide angle.

This wound not directly impact the peak efficiency of a solar cell the way these numbers are currently being measured (using Standard Test Conditions), but it means that the solar cell potentially outputs more electricity during morning and evening hours, which makes the cell overall more efficient throughout the day.


Image credit: BGU

In fact, BGU`s new solar cell is said to be have conversion rates in the same range as ultra-efficient PV. The theoretic potential for the cell architecture has been calculated to be above 40%. Whether or not anyone is able to create a prototype close to this is highly questionable, and doing so at a reasonable price seems unlikely. On the other hand, the new solar cell is still an important step towards cheaper solar power – most of today`s solar cells operate well below 20%.

According to Prof. Jeffrey Gordon, one of the researchers, the secret lies in independent tiers of semiconductor material:

“Our new designs for concentrator photovoltaic cells comprise multiple tiers of semiconductor materials that are totally independent, and overcome numerous challenges in compiling the elements of even the most efficient solar cells”

Another interesting result of the research is the ability to use silicon in tandem with highly concentrated solar radiation, which previously hasn’t been possible due to lower internal resistance in the cell.

“Our future depends on the development of alternative energies, and BGU is leading the way in this field. Prof. Gordon and his colleagues in BGU’s Energy Initiative continue to bring new innovations that will impact our world for the better.” says Doron Krakow, EVP of BGU

Energy Informative

Guest Post by Mathias Aarre Maehlum from EnergyInformative.org

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2 Responses to “New Solar Cell Design Could Reach 40% Efficiency”

  1. Jane Troughton Says:

    Any estimates on when this will be commercially available?

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Jane … Not at the moment. However, when I find out I will let you know! :D

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