Sharp’s triple-junction solar cell gains efficiency by reducing resistance

Sharp Corporation has achieved 36.9% conversion efficiency in a 1cm2 triple-junction compound solar cell with a stacked three-layer photo-absorption structure.

November 4, 2011 — Sharp Corporation has achieved 36.9% conversion efficiency in a 1cm2 triple-junction compound solar cell with a stacked three-layer photo-absorption structure. Results were confirmed by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in September 2011.

Figure 1. Sharp’s 36.9% efficiency solar cell.

Sharp claims, based on a survey of non-concentrator solar cells at the research level, that this efficiency is a new world record.

The company has been developing a triple-junction compound solar cell by stacking three photo-absorption layers since 2000. In 2009, Sharp brought cell conversion efficiency to 35.8% based on proprietary indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs)-based technology. Now, Sharp reduced junction-area resistance between the series of solar cell layers.

Figure 2. Structure of triple-junction compound solar cell.

The work came out of a research and development initiative promoted by Japan?s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on the theme of ?R&D on Innovative Solar Cells.?

Sharp is now looking to bring this technology into concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) cells, solar products for space satellites, and in other space and terrestrial applications.

In the future, processes for transferring ultra-thin photovoltaic layers onto film substrates will make lightweight, flexible solar cells possible.

Figure 3. Wavelength distribution of solar photo-energy and wavelength sensitivity of triple-junction compound solar cell.

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is Japan?s public management organization for promoting rese arch and development as well as for disseminat ing industrial, energy, and environmental technologies.

Sharp Corporation creates electronic products including televisions and solar cells. Learn more at http://www.sharp-world.com/

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