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Tandem solar cells with 31% (AM0) and 37% (AM1.5D) energy conversion efficiencies

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6 Author(s)
L. M. Fraas ; Boeing High Technol. Center, Seattle, WA, USA ; J. E. Avery ; V. S. Sundaram ; V. T. Dinh
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The authors demonstrate that the efficiency of GaAs satellite solar cells can be increased to 31% (AM0) with two straightforward modifications. First, the wire grid reflection losses on the GaAs cell can be eliminated by attaching and aligning a thin grooved cover slide. The grooves in this cover slide deflect the incident light rays away from the wire grid lines into the cell active area, increasing the efficiency from 22% to 24%. The second modification involves making the GaAs cell transparent to the infrared energy that normally is wasted and then placing an infrared sensitive GaSb booster cell behind the GaAs cell. This increases the AM0 solar energy conversion efficiency from 24% to 31%. The GaAs/GaSb tandem solar cells have conversion efficiencies of 37% if used for terrestrial (AM1.5) rather than space (AM0) solar electric power systems, high enough that utility-scale solar electric power may someday be economical.<>

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IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 11 )