Fraunhofer ISE won three student awards at the 47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference as the world’s oldest photovoltaic conference. This conference will be held in virtual form from June 15 to August 21. One of these awards presented to Markus Feifel, junior scientist of Fraunhofer ISE, for designing the high-efficient and low-cost hybrid tandem solar cell.
Although PV modules made up of silicon solar cells are dominant in the market, they have theoretically limited efficiency. This limitation is known as Shockley Queisser Efficiency Limit or SQ Limit which is 33%. While in the market, the PV module’s efficiency ranges between 18-22%. Therefore, reaching higher efficiency accelerates the PV module installation even more than before. This new hybrid tandem solar cell reached 25.9% efficiency by combining elements from the main groups’ III to V of the periodic table of the elements. This combination for tandem solar cells is high-efficient and low-cost which makes III-V/Si tandem solar cells commercially competitive.
According to Fraunhofer ISE, several different approaches for producing combinations of III-V and silicon solar cells exist. For example, Fraunhofer ISE holds the world record efficiency of 34.1 (new 34.5) percent for a tandem solar cell in which the III-V semiconductor layers are transferred from a gallium arsenide to a silicon substrate and connected by wafer bonding. This technology is very efficient but also expensive.
It is also noted that tandem solar cells use different wavelength fractions of sunlight for power generation, unlike the typical silicon solar cells.
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