Sharp Develops Solar Cell with Worlds Highest Conversion Efficiency of 36.9% using a triple-junction compound solar cell
Sharp has achieved the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency of 36.9% using a triple-junction compound solar cell in which the solar cell has a stacked three-layer structure. Compound solar cells utilize photo-absorption layers made from compounds consisting of two or more elements, such as indium and gallium. Because of their high conversion efficiency, compound solar cells have been used primarily on space satellites. This latest increase in conversion efficiency was achieved by improving the maximum power output of the solar cell by reducing the resistance of the junction areas necessary to connect the solar cell layers in series.
Sharp achieved this latest breakthrough as a result of a research and development initiative promoted by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on the theme of “R&D on Innovative Solar Cells. Measurement of the value of 36.9%, which sets a new record for the world’s highest non-concentrating conversion efficiency, was confirmed at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). In the future, processes for transferring ultra-thin photovoltaic layers onto film substrates will make lightweight, flexible solar cells possible.