QuantaSol reaches high efficiency levels in move toward multijunction world record

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Independent designer and manufacturer of strain-balanced quantum-well solar cells, QuantaSol Ltd., a spinout from Imperial College, London, has announced what it believes to be the most efficient single junction cell ever manufactured, achieving efficiency levels of 28.3%.

The cell was developed in just two years at its Kingston upon Thames development laboratory in London. This efficiency level of 28.3%, at 500 suns, was recorded at lab level and has been independently tested and certified by Fraunhofer ISE.

QuantaSol is a fabless semiconductor company, which means it specializes in the design and sale of the cells. By working at the bottom of the chain QuantaSol achieves an advantage by outsourcing the fabrication of the devices to a specialized foundry.

QuantaSol therefore concentrates its research and development resources on the end market, relying on pure-play foundries to manufacture the cells on its behalf.

In order to achieve these high levels of efficiency, QuantaSol uses a strain balancing process which is a technique employed to allow the epitaxial crystal growth of nanostructures from materials that have a slightly different ‘lattice constant’ – or regular spacing distance between atoms in the lattice – from each other.

Dr. Tim Tibbits explains that in order to achieve perfect crystal quality, without so-called defects, all the atoms in the crystal must be arranged perfectly next to one another in the right place – if this does not occur then the electrical properties of the crystal or solar cell made from it deteriorates. 

QuantaSol is able to use the technique of strain balancing to achieve perfect crystals of alternating layers of family III-V semiconductor materials, Indium Gallium-Arsenide (InGaAs) and Gallium-Arsenide-Phosphide (GaAsP), even though the two materials, if grown independently, would have different lattice constants to the substrate material, Gallium-Arsenide (GaAs).  It is the ability to manufacture this nanomaterial that enhances the absorption and hence efficiency of QuantaSol’s solar cells.

QuantaSol’s CEO, Kevin Arthur told Photovoltaics International that this single junction cell is, “The first step on our product development roadmap towards a multi-junction device, we aren’t planning to offer the single junction for sale unless there is a significant customer interest.  However we think that some of the new system ideas that we are seeing would be ideal platforms to utilize the high performance of our single junction but confidentiality agreements preclude any further discussion.”

When asked more about the cost-effectiveness of doing this Kevin said, “We are not yet ready to disclose costs or prices, but our approach is to deploy very much the same production methodologies that are used by manufacturers of LEDs and mobile phone power amplifiers.  CPV is a very high volume opportunity and demands an approach that can support Gigawatts of production per year.”

QuantaSol has recently completed a £2m second funding round which Kevin said will be put towards increasing the size of the team, which is currently made up of 13 people, and to help fund the research and development of a multi-junction cell which QuantaSol hopes will have the highest efficiency ever recorded.

21 September 2021
C&I consumers currently source only about 7% of their power requirement directly from renewables. Indian corporate renewable market has grown rapidly and holds huge growth potential as companies look to reduce power purchase costs and cut carbon emissions. BRIDGE TO INDIA has built significant expertise in the corporate renewable business by working on over 30 consulting assignments and various research reports. We are organizing this conference to bring all stakeholders together and delve deeper into various market aspects. The conference will be held on a virtual platform with excellent networking opportunities for all participants.
22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.

Read Next

September 20, 2021
A subsidiary of Indian utility Tata Power has received a letter of intent to set up a 250MW grid-connected solar project in the state of Maharashtra.
September 20, 2021
Vattenfall has increased its emissions reduction targets to be in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius scenario set out in the Paris Climate Agreement in a move that has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and which involves increasing its renewable capacity four-fold.
September 20, 2021
Lightsource BP has increased its solar deployment target to 25GW by 2025 after securing a US$1.8 billion financing facility that will help fund its global expansion.
September 20, 2021
Australian companies plan to spend AUS$5.1 billion (US$3.7 billion) on offshore gas exploration over the next six years, which is enough to develop 2.5GW of renewables capacity and generate close to 5,000 jobs
September 20, 2021
Mining company Rio Tinto has revealed plans for a new solar project and battery energy storage system that will help to decarbonise an off-grid mine in the Australian state of Queensland.
September 20, 2021
The US solar policy landscape is shifting at breakneck speed, with new incentives and trade tariffs promising to alter the shape of the industry for the coming decade. Luckily Andy Colthorpe and Liam Stoker are here to decipher the changes in the September 2021 episode of the Solar Media Podcast.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021