Hexus reports Japanese tech firm Sharp has managed to create a concentrator triple-junction compound solar cell that offers a conversion efficiency of 44.4 percent:
Sharp’s compound solar cells utilise solar absorption layers made from compounds of multiple elements, to make the most of the available sunlight spectrum. Light is focussed upon these cells by a lens-based concentrator above them.
Sharp achieved its world record efficiency figure using proprietary technology in the shape of its three light absorption layers which includes indium gallium arsenide in the bottom layer. The measurement of the world record conversion efficiency was confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany.
In related news, French startup SunPartner claims it has developed an almost transparent solar cel panel that would fit in front of a smartphone touchscreen. SunPartner's current design has a 82 percent transparency ratio but the firm is working to achieve a 90 percent figure. The technology is currently being tested by three smartphone makers, including Nokia. SunPartner claims the production cost is "just a couple of dollars" and says you can expect about a 20 percent increase in battery life in day-to-day use, and nearly indefinite standby whilst in daylight.
SunPartner says that three manufacturers, including Nokia, are working with it in testing the technology. The solar panel and electronics would only cost “a couple of dollars” to incorporate into existing designs while adding about 20 per cent to battery life in day-to-day use. The solar cells in the prototype are said to provide enough power for the phone to idle indefinitely whilst in daylight.