What does "quantum efficiency" mean? A paper published in year 2000 stated Gallium-Indium-Nitride semiconductor photovoltaic cells were able to convert 56% with 2 junctions, 64% with 3 junctions, or 72% with 36 junctions. A later paper optimized this, the researcher calculated 70.2% conversion with 8 junctions. But that is a percentage of all sunlight that strikes the cell. That chemistry has the advantage that every junction uses the same chemicals, each junction is transparent to colours that it doesn't convert to electricity. Each junction has a different concentration of nitrogen to absorb different colours. Initially they had difficulty getting nitrogen to permeate the cell, but later research solved that problem. Unfortunately no one has commerciallized this technology. Now this article claims 90%, but what exactly is "quantum" efficiency?
Apart from the cost, it is the flexibility of the plastic material that will make the solar panel being used in many more places- like car bodies could be layered with such material to produce electricity to charge the car batteries. You could just hang such solar panels on a rope in your backyard when there is sunshine and get electricity.
Solar cells are currently selling for $.98 (98 cents/watt) by the pallet (~20/pallet). The great majority are selling for ~$2/watt as sgl panels. Available as from 12 volt to 600v systems.
This is very interesting indeed. We understand that this is early stages, but still I would love to see some numbers to compare to the traditinal cells. Also when do you anticipate to get this into manufacturing, assuming this is possible?
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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