Soitec-Fraunhofer ISE multi-junction CPV cell hits world record 46% conversion efficiency

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

A Soitec multi-junction solar cell for use in concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems has become the company’s latest cell to reach a world record for conversion efficiency at 46%, according to Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy (Fraunhofer ISE).

The Germany-headquartered research institute once again collaborated with Soitec on the new cell, along with CEA-Leti, a division of the French research and technology organisation. The three parties were also involved in the most recent record-breaking CPV cell last year.

The efficiency of the new cell has been independently verified under standard test conditions by the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The multi-junction cell’s efficiency was measured at a concentration of 508 suns under a Fresnel concentrator lens. So-called multi-junction cells, based on III-V semiconductor compound materials, allow the materials at each junction to respond to different wavelengths of light.

The latest cell has four junctions, with each sub-cell converting photons with a wavelength of between 300 nm and 1750 nm into electricity. Each of the sub-cells converts a quarter of incoming photons, which Fraunhofer ISE says was a “special challenge” to achieve precisely. According to Fraunhofer ISE, this was done by “precise tuning of the composition and thickness of each layer inside the cell structure”.

This week’s announcement comes just over a year since the last big efficiency gain for Soitec cells – when another III-V-based solar cell converted 44.7% of light under a high concentration of simulated sunlight. That too came from the cooperative relationship between Soitec, CEA-Leti and Fraunhofer, with the additional involvement of another German research organisation, Helmholtz Center Berlin.

More recently, in July this year, a CPV solar module made using the 44.7% Soitec multi-junction cell in combination with a Fraunhofer-developed Fresnel lens reached a conversion efficiency of 36.7%. Back in March this year, research firm IHS said in a report that it expects the competitive landscape for CPV to “liven up” over the next five years.

Speaking of the latest world record, Fraunhofer’s project leader for cell development, Dr Frank Dimroth, said he was pleased the 46% figure had been verified by AIST and talked up the potential for CPV, in territories where it fitted.

“We are extremely pleased to hear that our result of 46% efficiency has now been independently confirmed by AIST in Japan,” Dimroth said.

“CPV is the most efficient solar technology today and suitable for all countries with high direct normal irradiance.”

Soitec struck a deal in October to supply 150MW of CPV modules to a project in California, while in the same month a 20.5MW concentrator PV plant in China, also using Soitec technology, reached its second phase.

6 July 2021
Explore in depth the opportunities of the different countries via case studies, business and financial models that will foster growth in the region with particular focus on Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia & Vietnam.
13 July 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
24 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. You'll find out which companies are investing and what technologies and cell architectures are being primed for multi-GW production and gather key market intel around wafer supplier trends for cell manufacturing, including which format/wafer-size is likely to dominate 3-5 years out.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.
7 September 2021
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. In its second edition from September 7–9, 2021 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will move to a new venue – Centro Citibanamex.

Read Next

June 18, 2021
Horizon Power and PXiSE Energy Solutions have successfully powered the Australian town of Onslow with completely renewable energy, demonstrating the potential of microgrid technology
June 18, 2021
Spanish utility Acciona has set a price range for its planned initial public offering (IPO) of its renewables division of up to €29.76 (US$35.36), potentially valuing the business unit at as much as €9.8 billion (US$11.6 billion).
June 18, 2021
UNOPS Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i) has signed an agreement to invest in a 250MW solar plant in Rajasthan, India
June 18, 2021
Lightsource BP has added 703MW to its Spanish pipeline through the acquisition of projects from Grupo Jorge, bringing its total pipeline in Spain to 3GW.
June 18, 2021
Diode Ventures has announced financial close of its Grizzly Ridge Solar Project, a utility-scale solar project with 138MWdc capacity which will serve the ERCOT North Zone in Texas.
June 17, 2021
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has approved AES Indiana’s plans to acquire the 195MW Hardy Hills solar project in Clinton County, Indiana.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021