The four year old California based startup company ‘Solar Junction’has added a feather of success to its cap. They marked a new record ofcell efficiency of 43.5%. This record beats all other previous recordsand the achievement was confirmed by the renowned National RenewableEnergy Laboratory’s Measurement and Characterization Laboratory.
The company uses an age old technology of using multi-junction cellswhich is used in spacecrafts and for generating electricity in desertareas. Their design incorporated several layers of photo-voltaic celllayered onto a gallium arsenide substrate. Gallium arsenide is known toincrease the efficiency. These layers convert a portion of the light toelectrical energy. The amount of sunlight entering the 5.5mmphoto-voltaic cells was enhanced by using mirrors. The mirrorconcentrated the light entering the cells minimizing loss of light thusachieving a breaking record of 43.5% efficiency. This percentage ofefficiency was achieved at 400 suns and lasted constant till 1000 suns.
This breakthrough is expected to attract companies which manufacture concentrating solar photo-voltaic (CPV) collectors as the design makesuse of gallium arsenide substrate which increases efficiency.
Solar Junction is aiming to expand their production to 250 megawatts and to start shipping commercial cells within a year. They are seeking a Department of Energy loan guarantee to move ahead in this direction.