Changes

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 67: Line 67:  
Current development has been primarily focused on improving the conversion efficiency of the solar cell.  The amount of radiant light converted to actual electricity is the key.  Now efficiency levels top out around 30% for our gallium arsenide solar cells.  Currently there are a few types of solar cells that can produce a better efficiency rate than that of the gallium arsenide solar cell.  Most however top out around 40%.  Keep in mind that efficiency levels also vary based on the materials that the solar cell is constructed out of.  Below are some of the highlights from the recent past.   
 
Current development has been primarily focused on improving the conversion efficiency of the solar cell.  The amount of radiant light converted to actual electricity is the key.  Now efficiency levels top out around 30% for our gallium arsenide solar cells.  Currently there are a few types of solar cells that can produce a better efficiency rate than that of the gallium arsenide solar cell.  Most however top out around 40%.  Keep in mind that efficiency levels also vary based on the materials that the solar cell is constructed out of.  Below are some of the highlights from the recent past.   
   −
On December 5th 2006 the 40% energy efficiency barrier was broken.  With funding from the Department of Energy, Boeing in effort with Spectrolab produced a high end solar cell that had a 40.7% sunlight to electricity conversion rate.
+
*On December 5th 2006 the 40% energy efficiency barrier was broken.  With funding from the Department of Energy, Boeing in effort with Spectrolab produced a high end solar cell that had a 40.7% sunlight to electricity conversion rate.
   −
On July 23, 2007, a group from the University of Delaware using a novel technology that adds multiple innovations to a high-performance crystalline silicon solar cell, achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8 percent from sunlight at standard terrestrial conditions.
+
*On July 23, 2007, a group from the University of Delaware using a novel technology that adds multiple innovations to a high-performance crystalline silicon solar cell, achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8 percent from sunlight at standard terrestrial conditions.
 +
 
 +
=====Greater Efficiency=====
 +
One type of future development focuses on the development of cells that convert increased levels of the incoming photons to electricity.  These would take less incoming energy to begin releasing electrons and would also capture more of their specific wavelength of the light spectrum.  There is currently a lot of research on going in this field dealing with making the light rays diffract to increase absorption rates.  Normally the rays will reflect of the backing material and travel out of the cell.  By creating a lower angle of exit more energy can be absorbed by the cell.       
 +
 
 +
=====Greater Wavelength Capture=====
 +
The other main area of efficiency development delves into making layered cells that use varying materials for stacked cells.  These newly conceived solar cells focus on capturing photons across a wider range of the the spectrum of light.  This means that as the light rays pass through these materials their differing wavelengths will be captured by different layers.  This can mean that while a normal cell will only take in the energy from a certain range of wavelengths, the accepted range can be increased thereby increasing the efficiency.
    
==Research, Resources, and Citations==
 
==Research, Resources, and Citations==

Navigation menu