Solar Junction III-V solar cell breaks world record
With 43.5% efficiency, the CPV multi-junction production cell is a key driver for global CPV growth, says the CEO of Solar Junction.
Solar Junction, a developer of high efficiency multi-junction III-V cells for the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) market, says it has set a world-record for 43.5 % efficiency on a commercial-ready production cell.
This achievement was, in part, supported under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) PV Incubator Program, managed through DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The cell’s efficiency was confirmed by NREL’s Measurement and Characterisation Laboratory. Solar Junctions says the 5.5 mm x 5.5 mm production cell tops the current record by 1.2 % and is significantly higher than the average efficiency gain achieved by previous record holders. The Solar Junction cell measured a peak efficiency of 43.5 %, at greater than 400 suns and still maintained an efficiency of 43 % out to 1,000 suns.
Wafer of Solar Junction CPV cells (Photo: Business Wire)
Solar Junction’s cells incorporate the company’s proprietary adjustable spectrum lattice-matched, A-SLAM technology, which enables the company to more optimally partition the solar spectrum for maximum efficiency and greater reliability. Increases in CPV cell efficiencies are a key driver for improving CPV economics, with each cell efficiency gain leveraged and multiplied in value by the components that account for the remaining 80 % of total system costs.
“In the time I’ve been on Solar Junction’s board, the company has hit all of its aggressive efficiency milestones on target,” said Forest Baskett, General Partner at New Enterprise Associates. “That ability to deliver and execute sets it apart from the pack and positions it for swift market gains.”
Over the past four years, world record CPV cell efficiencies have averaged improvements of 0.4 % annually. By contrast, over the past nine months Solar Junction has been on a steep efficiency trajectory with its 5.5 mm x 5.5 mm commercial-ready production cell. This 43.5 % achievement comes just two months after Solar Junction reported achieving an NREL verified 41.4 % efficiency, also achieved as part of the Company’s PV Incubator subcontract.
“There’s no question that we’ve been on a nine-month tear,” said Jim Weldon, CEO of Solar Junction. “We’ve delivered on milestone after milestone and attribute this to our superior performing technology platform, driven by our dedicated, hard-charging technical team, supported by our integrated in-house manufacturing line that has enabled, and will continue to enable, multiple iterations of product improvement on an accelerated timeline. With A-SLAM™, we have a highly extensible technology that is actually delivering a clear and continued path to higher efficiencies in both the short and long term. That bodes well for CPV.”
In February, Solar Junction made the short list of finalists selected for post-selection due diligence within the DOE Loan Guarantee Program (LGP). The Company plans to scale in-house manufacturing to 250 MW capacity and ship commercial cells within the year.