20 August 2005 High efficiency solar cells for concentrator systems: silicon or multi-junction?
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Abstract
Amonix has become the first company to begin production of high concentration silicon solar cells where volumes are over 10 MW/year. Higher volumes are available due to the method of manufacture; Amonix solely uses semiconductor foundries for solar cell production. In the previous years of system and cell field testing, this method of manufacturing enabled Amonix to maintain a very low overhead while incurring a high cost for the solar cell. However, recent simplifications to the solar cell processing sequence resulted in cost reduction and increased yield. This new process has been tested by producing small qualities in very short time periods, enabling a simulation of high volume production. Results have included over 90% wafer yield, up to 100% die yield and world record performance (η =27.3%). This reduction in silicon solar cell cost has increased the required efficiency for multi-junction concentrator solar cells to be competitive / advantageous. Concentrator systems are emerging as a low-cost, high volume option for solar-generated electricity due to the very high utilization of the solar cell, leading to a much lower $/Watt cost of a photovoltaic system. Parallel to this is the onset of alternative solar cell technologies, such as the very high efficiency multi-junction solar cells developed at NREL over the last two decades. The relatively high cost of these type of solar cells has relegated their use to non-terrestrial applications. However, recent advancements in both multi-junction concentrator cell efficiency and their stability under high flux densities has made their large-scale terrestrial deployment significantly more viable. This paper presents Amonix's experience and testing results of both high-efficiency silicon rear-junction solar cells and multi-junction solar cells made for concentrated light operation.
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Alexander Slade, Alexander Slade, Kenneth W. Stone, Kenneth W. Stone, Robert Gordon, Robert Gordon, Vahan Garboushian, Vahan Garboushian, } "High efficiency solar cells for concentrator systems: silicon or multi-junction?", Proc. SPIE 5942, Nonimaging Optics and Efficient Illumination Systems II, 59420O (20 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.619000; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.619000
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