Photovoltaic conversion under concentrated sunlight is a highly promising technique that could make solar-electric power generation economically competitive with fossil fuel power generation by the mid-1980s. An economic analysis has been performed which demonstrates that solar cell efficiency, concentrator efficiency, and concentrator cost are the most important parameters in a concentrating photovoltaic system; solar cell cost is only of secondary importance (at least for Si solar cells). Six novel structures are described, including modified conventional Si cells, Ga1−xAlx As/GaAs devices, interdigitated cells, vertical and horizontal multijunction cells and “multicolor” devices.
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