Single-Junction Solar Power Module Sets Efficiency Record

By Mike Ball / 04 Feb 2018
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Alta Devices solar filmHanergy Thin Film Power Group has announced that solar energy testing laboratory Fraunhofer ISE CalLab PV Modules has rated the company’s US-based subsidiary Alta Devices‘ newest solar production module as the highest efficiency single-junction solar module ever produced. With its record setting 25.1% conversion efficiency, the module can be used to power a range of products such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), electric vehicles, and smart sensors that were previously limited by low efficiency solar solutions.

This record for solar efficiency represents a breakthrough in Hanergy’s vision for the future of solar energy applications. Hanergy believes that the accelerating trend toward autonomous machines demands a power source that can be seamlessly recharged and has minimal impact on physical form.

“As we move toward a world of autonomous machines, developing sources of power that can be replenished without interruption is increasingly important,” said Alta Devices Chief Marketing Officer, Rich Kapusta. “Each time our technology achieves a new world record, it has been designed with a clear focus on this goal.”

Dr. Jian Ding, Senior Vice President of Hanergy Thin Film and CEO of Alta Devices said, “Throughout Alta’s history, our world class engineering team has continuously focused on developing the world’s best solar technology. Our goal with this module was to demonstrate world record efficiency in mass production at commercial scale. Applications for this type of thin and flexible solar power are becoming broader and more critical.”

Alta’s innovative GaAs modules perform at up to 2 times that of ordinary flexible solar cells, making them the current world leader in terms of module efficiency for thin film solar technology. Since 2010, Alta’s GaAs single-junction cells have broken conversion efficiency records four times and still hold the world’s highest (lab) conversion efficiency rate of 28.8%.

Extremely efficient, light and flexible, Alta Devices’ thin-film solar panels have been successfully applied to a range of different products. On the transportation side, Alta Devices has worked with European car maker to integrate solar cells into panoramic glass automobile roofs.

In terms of UAVs, Alta Devices has made strides toward solving one of the biggest “pain points” of traditional unmanned aerial vehicles by applying the highest-efficiency gallium arsenide thin-film solar cell to develop a UAV with the longest flight time in the world. Extremely light and flexible, the thin-film panels were easily integrated into the drone without altering its aerodynamic profile.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact