World’s Highest Solar Cell Conversion Efficiency of 43.5% using Concentrator Triple-Junction Compound Solar Cell
Sharp has announced the biggest breakthrough in solar cell conversion efficiency by development of concentrator triple-junction compound solar cell. The compound solar cells uses photo-absorption layers which are made of compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium, helping to boost the conversion efficiency to 43.5%. The triple-junction compound solar cell basic structure is based on Sharp proprietary technology providing efficient stacking of the three photo-absorption layers, with InGaAs (Indium gallium arsenide) as its bottom layer. The high conversion efficiency has been achieved through conversion of sunlight collected by three photo-absorption layers into electricity.
Furthermore, Sharp has optimized the spacing between electrodes on the surface of the concentrator cell while minimizing the cell’s electrical resistance. Up to now, use of compound solar cells have been limited to space satellites, but latest success will open the door for applying this new technology into concentrator photovoltaic power systems that can efficiently generate electricity using small surface area solar cells for practical terrestrial use.