HVAC Breaking News

Dec. 13, 2006: New Solar Cell Breaks 40 Percent Efficiency Barrier

December 13, 2006
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Spectrolab Inc. has developed a new concentrator solar cell with a sunlight-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 40.7 percent, a new world record in solar cell efficiency. The new cell uses a "multi-junction" structure, in which several layers each capture part of the sunlight passing through the cell. These layers allow the cell to capture more of the solar spectrum and convert it into electricity. The Spectrolab cell relies on an optical concentrator to focus sunlight onto the cell.

Researchers have been working toward the "40 percent barrier" for the past two decades. In the 1980s, multi-junction solar cells achieved about 16 percent efficiency, and DOE''s National Renewable Energy Laboratory broke the 30 percent barrier in 1994. Today, most satellites use these multi-junction solar cells, and Spectrolab, a subsidiary of the Boeing Company, recently produced its two millionth solar cell using multi-junction technology. The new Spectrolab cell, developed with DOE funding, could lead to more affordable solar power systems here on earth, costing as little as $3 per watt to install and producing electricity at a cost of 8-10 cents per kilowatt/hour.

Publication date: 12/11/2006

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.

Podcasts

NEWSMakers: Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson,an experienced trade school and community college instructor, discusses the HVAC industry and his column in The NEWS, ‘The Service Ticket.’ Listen now for a hint to the Not Enough Heat question from the Dec. 15 issue. Posted Jan. 30.

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 01-26-15 cover

2015 January 26

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Regional Standards

With regional standards for a/c equipment going into effect in 2015, how do you think it will impact the industry?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

2015.jpg
2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con