Spire Semiconductor produces a world-record 42.3% efficient CPV cell.
Spire Semiconductor, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spire Corporation, has produced a world record efficiency concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar cell. The 0.97cm(2) cell was measured by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to have a peak efficiency of 42.3% at 406 suns AM1.5D, 25C (42.2% at 500 suns). Edward D. Gagnon, General Manager of Spire Semiconductor, LLC, stated, "In early 2009, Spire Semiconductor was awarded an NREL Photovoltaic (PV) Incubator subcontract to develop a high efficiency triple junction, gallium arsenide (GaAs) cell. In less than 18 months, we were able to validate and incorporate our new concept into a production-ready cell design with world-record efficiency. This is a remarkable achievement by our technical team. NREL has been extremely helpful during the entire program, with timely responses to our confirmation requests for accurate efficiency measurements. Their continued support enabled us to validate our new bi-facial cell architecture. This higher efficiency, next generation GaAs CPV cell platform is now available commercially to the concentrator systems providers." Roger G. Little, Chairman and CEO of Spire Corporation, said, "We are pleased to reach the record high CPV cell efficiency. The availability of this new high-efficiency cell will advance next-generation CPV system performance and reduce system cost for manufacturers, helping to move solar energy ever closer to the goal of grid parity." About National Renewable Energy Laboratory The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC. About Spire Corporation Spire Corporation is a global solar company providing capital equipment and turnkey production lines to manufacture PV cells and modules. Spire Semiconductor, LLC offers concentrator solar cells to the CPV industry. www.spirecorp.com