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A solar cell with 50% efficiency is no longer a pipe dream after researchers at at Fraunhofer ISE, CEA-Leti, Helmholtz Center Berlin and commercial CPV firm, Soitec reached a world record 44.7% conversion efficiency for a novel III-V-based solar cell.
Multi-junction solar cells with conversion efficiencies of almost 50% could become cost effective as a result of a collaboration between equipment supplier EV Group and Fraunhofer ISE.
Spanish EPC Iberdrola Ingeniería has won a contract to build a 96MW solar power plant in South Africa under the second bidding round of the country’s national renewable energy programme.
Manufacturer of space solar cells and panels Spectrolab has announced a 37.8% efficiency rate for its multi-junction solar cells.
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has verified a new ‘dual junction’ thin film solar cell technology from Alta Devices with a conversion efficiency of 30.8%.
A CPV triple-junction compound solar cell developed and optimised by Sharp Corporation has been verified by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) with a record conversion efficiency of 37.7%.
Solar Junction announced that its multi-junction solar energy cells have set a new world record for energy efficiency of a commercial-ready production solar cell. The company advised that the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) verified that the power conversion efficiency of its cells measured 44% at 947 suns, beating its own previous 43.5% at 418 suns record.
Emcore announced that ATK had awarded it with a contract to supply its ZTJ triple-junction solar cells for use in the AMOS-6 commercial telecommunications satellite mission. The satellite has plans to be launched in early 2015 and will see Emcore’s products used to power the AMOS-6 spacecraft manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Despite several start-up firm failures and an over-hyped sector, the concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) market is forecast to grow significantly over the next four years, according to the latest report from IMS Research, part of IHS. Though building from a small base, CPV installations are set to almost double in 2012 to around 90MW with a commercial value of US$325 million. By 2016 the market is expected to reach almost 1.2GW.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) has appointed CPV expert Geoffrey S. Kinsey, Ph.D. to the role of director of its Photovoltaic Technologies Group. Dr. Kinsey joins the organization from his former role as senior director of R&D at Amonix, where he led a team working on the optimization of III-V multijunction cells for solar power generators, recently reaching a module efficiency of 33% in outdoor operating conditions.
The CPV solar cell business segment of Emcore accounted for US$19.1 million or 51% of the company’s total revenue in its FY2012 first quarter, representing a decline of US$2 million from the prior quarter. However, Emcore reported a CPV cell order backlog of approximately US$51.7 million, an increase from US$43.5 million in the prior quarter. The order increase was due to the first order from its China-based JV CPV module operations, Suncore, which is starting assembly operations to meet a US$100 million project contract in the country.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has verified Alta Devices’ most recent and highest efficiency solar panel at 23.5%. The technology used for these panels was unveiled at PVSC37, Seattle, US, in June last year. The company announced its solar cell conversion efficiencies resulted from harnessing the high efficiency of gallium arsenide (GaAs) in cost effective ways.
CPV provider, Alpha-Omega Power Technologies, has announced that Taiwanese company Solapoint has purchased its GEN2 solar simulator.
Instituto de Energía Solar at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has certified that Semprius’ HCPV modules have set a new world record with an efficiency level of 33.9%. The module was tested indoors at Standard Test Conditions (850 W/m2, 25°C cell temperature, and a spectrum matched to AM1.5D) and corroborated by outdoor measurements made at the Institute of Concentration Photovoltaic Systems (ISFOC) in Puertollano, Spain. The HCPV modules significantly exceed the previous claim of 32.0%.
Construction has begun of the initial stage of the 2MW CPV solar plant in Mildura, Victoria. The 2MW plant will serve as a form of demonstration facility for what the developers are planning could eventually be a 100MW solar farm by 2016. As equipment supplier to the facility, Solar Systems will provide its “Dense Array” CPV technology which is said to use triple-junction solar cells to yield a 40% conversion efficiency.