Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photovoltaics with Record Efficiency

07.03.2012
The photovoltaics manufacturer Semprius has achieved a record efficiency rating of 33.9 percent for its high-performance concentrator photovoltaic (PV) modules.

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
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/innovationnews

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Mobile measuring instruments: Caught in flight
07.07.2020 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht PCB-embedded GaN-on-Si half bridge circuits for modular use
06.07.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Festkörperphysik IAF

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Shock-dissipating fractal cubes could forge high-tech armor

08.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Scientists use nanoparticle-delivered gene therapy to inhibit blinding eye disease in rodents

08.07.2020 | Health and Medicine

'Growing' active sites on quantum dots for robust H2 photogeneration

08.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>