French-German Partnership Achieves 46% PV Conversion Efficiency In The Lab


France-based semiconductor maker Soitec and technology firm CEA-Leti in partnership with Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems have tested a multi-junction photovoltaic cell that converts 46% of solar light into electrical energy.

The partners claim the achievement marks a new world record in PV conversion efficiency. Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has verified the claim.

The new cell is a four-junction cell, with each of its sub-cells converting one quarter of incoming photons in the wavelength range between 300 nm and 1,750 nm into electricity. Multi-junction cells are used in concentrator PV (CPV) systems, where a Fresnel lens concentrates the sunlight onto the cell.

‘To produce this new generation of solar cells, we have already installed a line in France,’ says Jocelyne Wasselin, vice president of solar cell product development at Soitec. ‘It uses our bonding and layer-transfer technologies and already employs more than 25 engineers and technicians. I have no doubt that this successful cooperation with our French and German partners will drive a further increase of CPV technology efficiency and competitiveness.’

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