This one is worth paying attention to: the March 2011 record for solar cell efficiency held by Solar Junction has been broken last month by Sharp. The US-based company has offered the world a triple-junction compound solar cell that gives off 43.5% of the energy it takes in.
Sharp’s technology consists of piling up three photo-absorbing layers in such a way that they render much more electricity than previous iterations, having the bottom layer made of InGaAs (a compound of indium, gallium and arsenide). However, what makes their layers over-productive is the improved space between the surface electrodes of the concentrator cell and a reduction in the cell’s electrical resistance.
Also, it’s no surprise that the country behind all this is Japan, whose New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) started the “R&D on Innovative Solar Cells” project.
Interestingly enough, these high-efficiency solar cells make us feel closer to sky tech, since their technology has first been used on space satellites.