Sharp of Japan has snagged another world record – by introducing the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency which stands at 36.9% thanks to a triple-junction compound solar cell. This particular solar cell will feature a stacked three-layer structure that keep sit going at such an energy efficient level. Just how does compound solar cells work? Well, they make use of photo-absorption layers that are made from compounds which comprise of two or more elements (indium and gallium included). Due to their high conversion efficiency, compound solar cells tend to see action on space satellites most of the time. Guess this new solar cell from Sharp might change things in time to come.

One of the key methods would be to reduce the resistance of the junction areas necessary in order to hook up the solar cell layers in series. This latest breakthrough was achieved thanks to a research and development initiative that was promoted by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), hitting a new world record in the process. What does the future hold? Chances are we will see processes that will transfer ultra-thin photovoltaic layers onto film substrates which will result in lightweight, flexible solar cells. [Press Release]

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