07 Oct 2010 11:10:09
CVP developed with world-record efficiency
A US company has produced a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar cell with world-record efficiency.
Spire Semiconductor's CVP was measured by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is the nation's primary energy laboratory.
The CVP was shown to have peak efficiency of 42.3 percent at the equivalent of 406 suns AM1.5D at 25C.
CPV systems concentrate the solar rays, which allows solar panels to operate highly efficiently with a reduced amount of semi-conducting material.
Edward D Gagnon, general manager of Spire Semiconductor, said that in early 2009, the company was awarded the Photovoltaic (PV) Incubator subcontract to develop a "high-efficiency, triple junction, gallium arsenide 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," he added.
Roger G Little, chairman and chief executive officer of Spire Corporation, added that the CVP cell will help reduce costs for manufacturers and allow the costs of solar power to move towards grid parity.