The two main obstacles to the global implementation of solar energy is its cost and low efficiency of modern equipment. However, the researchers from start-up companies Semprius, located in Durham, North Carolina, found a way to solve both these problems by lining the vertical semiconductor layers on top of each other. This technique allowed Semprius to start manufacturing solar panels with efficiency of about 50% (compared to the industry standard of 25%).
Semprius makes its super-efficient solar panels by stacking different semiconducting materials that absorb different frequencies of light. Remarkably, this technique is not expensive, does not require any radical redesign, and it can help to improve existing production technology and equipment.
Experts claims that Semprius has made three key innovations: a cheap and fast way to put together photovoltaic cells, a proprietary method of electrical connection of cells, and development of a new kind of glue that holds cells together. In their current projects Semprius uses tiny solar panels is only about a millimeter, to facilitate faster cooling and greater efficiency.
Semprius manufactures its semiconductor materials using conventional methods, but then they fit into several different layers. It is possible to create solar panels that can capture more energy from sunlight. Semprius has made two prototypes: one with an efficiency of 43.9 percent and the other in which you used a few different materials, with an efficiency of 44.1 percent.
"In the end, the company hopes to fold about five or six semiconductor layers and create a battery with very high efficiency, efficiency which exceeds 50 percent," said Scott Burroughs, Vice President of technology, Semprius. He says that the company hopes to achieve this within three to five years.