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A High-Efficiency Multi-junction Photovoltaic Cell for Harvesting Solar Energy

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Tech ID:
09-151
Principal Investigator:
Indranil Bhattacharya and Simon Foo
Licensing Manager:
Description:

Solar energy is a renewable energy source that continues to receive increased interest worldwide as it is the most abundant source of free energy available on the planet.

At present, most of the commercially available solar cells are, at best, approximately 19% efficient in their ability to absorb energy from the sun. At the Florida State University, a novel multi-junction photovoltaic cell has been proposed by Dr. Simon Foo that will significantly increase solar energy conversion efficiency in excess of 40%, that is, more than double the efficiency of commercially-available crystalline silicon cells. The new design introduces a third layer to the solar cell that will enable the cell to absorb a wider range of the sunlight spectrum. The third layer is comprised of an Indium-Gallium-Antimonide (InGaSb) semiconductor material that improves the absorption of photons with wavelengths from near-infrared to the end of the infrared region of the solar spectrum. Importantly, of the infrared, visible light, and UV regions of the solar spectrum, it is the infrared region that contains the largest amount of harvestable energy.

Applications:

  • Aerospace
  • Building construction
  • Civil engineering
  • Electronics
  • Power stations
  • Stand-alone and grid-connected applications
  • Distributed power generation

Advantages:

  • More efficient than the single layer photovoltaic cells currently available on the market
  • More efficient than existing multi-junction solar cells currently under development
  • Capable of harvesting energy of photons with wavelengths exceeding 598nm, the largest portion of the solar spectrum