Recently announced, Solar Junction is reaching NREL certified efficiencies of up to 40.9% on in-house manufactured triple junction cells.
CPV or “Concentrating Photovoltaics” is a cross between traditional concentrating solar (CSP) with its mirrored troughs and towers and traditional Photovoltaic panels. CPV panels, such as those being manufactured by companies like Solar Junction and SolFocus, use a group of small fresnel type lenses to focus sunlight onto highly efficient tiny silicon type cells. The result is concentrating CSP efficiency at a fraction of the cost. Oh and no water, a necessary traditional CSP requirement which is a bit of a “catch 22″ in the solar business. Traditional CSP uses heat to boil water and spin a turbine, and CSP is usually developed in desert regions that certainly lack water.
Developers like Skybridge Solar are excited to see, hear and report on the latest hurdles being overcome in the efficiency game. Efficiency and storage will certainly be some of the technological developments necessary to finally overtake fossil fuel burning energy production. Taking over the world electricity market using Photovoltaic technology to replace a lump of coal will take time. We can certainly point to a myriad of technologies that were cost prohibitive the day they were discovered. But, in retrospect, modern man should be able to beat the time it took the Neanderthal to move from burning a chunk of wood to burning a lump of coal. Then again, modern man is still subsidizing fossils. Not very modern!