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 Studying how unconventional metals behave, with an eye on high-temperature superconductors
13.12.2018 | Princeton University

nachricht An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes
13.12.2018 | Rutgers University

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

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...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

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...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

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...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

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...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife

14.12.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>