Siemens has a 16-percent stake in the U.S. start-up and wants to develop the technology further. Production of the modules is scheduled to begin in mid-2012.
The record was measured under standardized test conditions in a joint project with the Spanish Instituto de Sistemas Fotovoltaicos de Concentración and the University of Madrid. Classic PV modules made of mono- or poly-crystalline silicon and without concentrating lenses currently achieve efficiency ratings of approximately 20 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
Concentrating PV modules have a glass covering with integrated lenses. The lenses focus the rays of sunlight on small surfaces, and for that reason, the photovoltaic panel does not consist entirely of semiconductor material. Instead, it is made of an inexpensive substrate to which small solar cells are attached. The high-performance concentrator modules from Semprius are based on very small solar cells and achieve a 1,000-fold concentration of the solar radiation.
They rely on a process that Semprius developed for inexpensively mounting tiny solar cells on the substrate: Instead of transferring them chip for chip, a special printing module applies up to 1,000 cells per step. The solar cells themselves are based on multiple layers of light-absorbing III-V semiconductors like gallium arsenide. This technology has already attained an efficiency rating of more than 40 percent in the laboratory.
Concentrating photovoltaic modules can only process direct sunlight and must therefore be set up to track the position of the sun. The technology is particularly suited to regions exposed to a large amount of sunlight. Compared with the solar thermal power plants likewise used in these areas, the high-performance concentrator PV modules also permit smaller units with lower outputs. As Semprius continues to develop the technology of the modules, Siemens is contributing tracking systems and inverters, among other things.
Siemens is also responsible for the design of complete solar power plants based on the new modules. Solutions for photovoltaic plants are part of the Siemens Environmental Portfolio, with which the company generated about €30 billion in sales in the fiscal year 2011.
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Studying how unconventional metals behave, with an eye on high-temperature superconductors
13.12.2018 | Princeton University
An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes
13.12.2018 | Rutgers University
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
13.12.2018 | Life Sciences
13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy