A newly developed Fresnel lens by Fraunhofer ISE and produced by ORAFOL Fresnel Optics have been combined into Soitec’s ‘FLATCON’ CPV module and record efficiency multi-junction solar sells to provide a record module conversion efficiency of 36.7%.

Recently, Fraunhofer ISE together with Soitec, the French research center CEA-Leti, and the Helmholtz Center in Berlin produced a a world record cell efficiency of 44.7 % under concentrated light, using Soitec’s four-junction (GaInP, GaAs, GaInAs and InP) bonded wafer solar cell technology.

The new CPV module was measured under Concentrator Standard Testing Conditions (CSTC), the highest efficiency level ever reported.

“Naturally we are incredibly excited about this high module efficiency,” said Dr. Andreas Bett, leader of CPV research at Fraunhofer ISE. “This success shows that the high efficiencies of Soitec’s novel four-junction solar cells can be transferred to the module level.”

The FLATCON module aperture area, (defined as the surface area of the module exposed to light), was said to have 83 cm². The sunlight was concentrated by a factor of 230 suns onto fifty-two 7mm² solar cells with the help of fifty-two 16 cm² Fresnel lenses.

Fraunhofer ISE said that it expected the new module to reach commercialisation  within one to two years.