Researchers have developed a way to stack solar cells that will allow them to handle to energy of 70,000 suns, increasing efficiency while lowering costs.
Stacked solar cells, with their 45 percent conversion rate, are the most efficient cells on the market, but their efficiency is lessened by energy waste at connecting junctions. To help reduce that waste, researchers at North Carolina University inserted a thin film of gallium arsenide into the junctions, significantly reducing voltage loss.
The development is important, because while photovoltaic energy companies would like to use lenses to concentrate solar energy from the sun to 4000 suns or more, solar energy that is intensified to 700 suns or more causes the connecting junctions in stacked solar cells to begin losing voltage—and the more intense the solar energy, the more voltage is lost.
Image: Roger W. Winstead
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