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Fraunhofer ISE gets EARTO Prize for solar CPV

Fraunhofer ISE has received the EARTO Innovation Prize for its development of a solar concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system.

The prize is awarded for research with high potential for future applications in economy and society.

Dr Andreas Bett and colleagues at Fraunhofer ISE have developed solar CPV cells with almost double the efficiency levels of conventional silicon-based solar cells.

The solar CPV cell is based of a metamorphic triple-junction structure consisting of III-V compound semiconductors.

By stacking multiple solar cells on top of each other on a substrate of germanium, the team created a triple-junction solar cell structure said to be better adapted to the spectrum of wavelength of sunlight.

An efficiency of 41.1% was achieved with the solar CPV cells.

To achieve a quick transfer to industry, Fraunhofer ISE set up a demonstration laboratory where researchers are developing and testing production processes for the construction and connection technology, solar module integration and quality control.

The Fraunhofer ISE team has collaborated closely with AZUR Space Solar Power in Heilbronn, Germany, which manufactures solar cells for space.

AZUR aims to bring the solar CPV cells to market in 2011.

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Photovoltaics (PV)