4 November 2011

Sharp reports record efficiency of 36.9% for non-concentrator triple-junction solar cells

Osaka-based Sharp Corp has achieved what is claimed to be record solar cell conversion efficiency of 36.9% using a triple-junction compound semiconductor solar cell in which the solar cell has a stacked three-layer structure, as confirmed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) on a 1cm2 cell.

Sharp has been conducting R&D of triple-junction compound solar cells since 2000. In 2009, it succeeded in improving cell conversion efficiency to 35.8% based on proprietary technology that enabled efficient fabrication of a stacked triple-layer structure with InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) as the bottom layer.

The latest increase in conversion efficiency was achieved by improving the maximum power output of the solar cell by reducing the resistance of the junction areas necessary to connect the solar cell layers in series.

Sharp achieved the latest breakthrough as a result of an R&D initiative promoted by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on the theme of ‘R&D on Innovative Solar Cells’.

Sharp says that, in the future, processes for transferring ultra-thin photovoltaic layers onto film substrates will make lightweight, flexible solar cells possible. Its goal in the years to come is to take full advantage of this latest development for use in concentrator-type solar cells (for which Solar Junction of San Jose, CA, USA achieved the existing record of 43.5% in April), as well as for practical applications such as on space satellites and for aircraft and land-based vehicles.

Tags: Sharp Triple-junction solar cells InGaAs

Visit: www.sharp.co.jp

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