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Close Competition for Most Efficient Concentrator Solar Cells from U.S.-Based Spire Corporation

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Spire CEO, Roger Little

Spire Semiconductor, a subsidiary of Spire Corporation based in Massachusetts, has announced that they have matched world’s record 41.1 efficiency for a concentrator solar cell (the sources don’t mention it, but that’s probably the one achieved by Fraunhofer researchers we talked about a week ago).

DOE’s NREL verified their claims and confirmed an efficiency of 41.0% for their concentrator solar cells – 500 times the normal sunlight. They made this record possible with a triple-junction high efficiency solar cell that only has one square centimeter photo area (practically a solar cell consisting of more thin film layers).

NREL has signed a $3.7 million contact with Spire, aiming to develop a high-efficiency gallium arsenide solar cell that will be able to convert 42.5% of the incident solar energy they will call “Triathlon”.

Spire Corporation CEO, Roger G. Little explained that a more efficient concentrator solar cell would provide lower cost, more reliable solar power: “We are excited to have matched the current world record efficiency, and we have nearly four months remaining under the subcontract to surpass this level and achieve the target 42.5% efficiency.”

Cutting costs of solar cells will increase their adoption by the hungry energy market and will ease the load on coal-fired power plants, making it easier for them to supply enough power for the future infrastructure needed by electric vehicles, and save the environment one solar cell at a time.

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