UK-based Quantasolhas achieved a world record for the most efficient gallium arsenide(GaAs) solar cells that until now were only used in space-basedapplications. The solar cells developed by the company can be tuned tosuit the location they are to be installed in, which increases theirefficiency, as they’re made suitable to harness various sunlightconditions found in different areas of the globe. The specificallydesigned solar cells have broken a 21-year-old efficiency record forone type of solar cells.
The company added indiumgallium arsenide to pores just a few nanometers across on the surfaceof the cells. This addition makes them work at specific lightfrequencies that are most common in a particular place, but aren’tusually absorbed by GaAs alone.
The technology was tested atthe Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy, which has confirmed that thenew solar cells have an efficiency of 28.3% when exposed to light 500times as strong as normal sunlight. Before making the cells availableon the market, the company wants to pull down the cost of the cells, asGaAs cells cost more than silicon solar cells, which are less efficientbut cost less as well.