Solar cell efficiency record

Dans le monde des cellules solaires, la course à l’efficacité est lancée depuis longtemps. Aujourd’hui, des chercheurs du National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, États-Unis) présentent une nouvelle avancée avec des cellules dont l’efficacité frôle les 40 % ! © Thinapob, Adobe Stock

Efficiency below 40% may seem low. But in the world of solar energy, it’s huge. Even a record. The result of several years of work that could help make better use of the energy we receive from the sun.

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Photovoltaic panels are installed on the vast majority of satellites. With the help of the Sun, they make it possible to recharge the batteries of probes and orbits to the far reaches of the Solar System. Back in the video on technology that is more than 60 years old and constantly improving.

AND solar panelhowever efficient it is, it is not able to convert all into electricityenergy gets from the Sun is the nearest star to Earth, from which it is about 150 million kilometers away. The sun is located 8.5 kparsecs from the center of the Milky Way. In the classification of stars, the Sun is a G2 star.
Mass … “data-image =” “data-url =” https: // news. “data-more =” Read more “>sun. Far from here. Its effectiveness depends, for example, on the orientation of the panel. But also the many types of solar cells it contains. Some thus show a high yield of around 25%, others do not exceed 10%. And today, researchers from National Laboratory for Renewable Energy Sources (NREL, United States) announce that they have developed a technology that can achieve 39.5% efficiency. A record that even makes it the most efficient solar cell of all types of technology.

A secret? The so-called solar cell “quantum wells”. This type of cell uses many very thin layers. Once the system is optimized, physicists integrated into a three-transient device based on III-V materials – named after their position in periodic table – with various forbidden bands. What to adjust each joint to capture a different cutout spectrum solar.

Quantum wells and multiple connections

Quantum wells in the middle layer widen the arsenide band gap from the general
Symbol: GaAtomic number: 31electrons per level … “data-image =” “data-url =” “data-more =” Read more “>gallium (GaAs) or re-firing of the upper cell made of gallium-indium phosphide (GaInP) to further improve, for example, performance. It took researchers decades to find the best architecture for it photovoltaic cell.

Achieving the efficiency record with a solar cell built on III-V materials is no big surprise. They are known for their high efficiency. The problem is that the production process was expensive until then. And he limited it applications for this type of cells into specialized applications of this type satellites Where drone. But NREL researchers have also worked on this key point. They promise that their articles are not only more effective but also more economical.

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