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Sharp`s III-V Solar Cell Breaks Barriers With 37.7 Percent Efficiency

The indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) triple junction based device has three photo-absorption layers which are stacked together


Sharp Corporation has achieved one of the world's highest solar cell conversion efficiencies of 37.7 percent.

The basic structure of this latest triple-junction compound solar cell uses proprietary Sharp technology that enables efficient stacking of the three photo-absorption layers, with InGaAs as the bottom layer.



Wavelength Distribution of Solar Photo-Energy and Wavelength Sensitivity of Triple-Junction Compound Solar Cell

Sharp achieved this breakthrough a research and development initiative promoted by Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) on the theme of "R&D on Innovative Solar Cells".

The measurement of 37.7 percent, conversion efficiency was confirmed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

To achieve this increase in conversion efficiency, Sharp capitalised on the ability of the new cell to efficiently absorb light from different wavelengths in sunlight and convert it into electricity.

The firm also increased the active area for converting light into electricity through optimal processing of the cell edges. These improvements led to higher maximum output levels for the solar cell and enabled Sharp to achieve a solar cell conversion efficiency of a massive 37.7 percent.

Sharp's aim for the future is to apply this latest development success to concentrator photovoltaic power systems that use lenses to collect and convert sunlight into electricity. The company also foresees numerous other practical applications for the cells, such as in space satellites and vehicles.



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