Mitsubishi Electric sets world records in solar cell conversion efficiency

Reducing resistive loss in polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cells enables a 19.3% efficiency rating for photoelectric conversion.

02/16/2010


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it has settwo world records for photoelectric conversion efficiency in polycrystallinesilicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, achieved by reducing resistive loss in thecells. Photoelectric conversion efficiency is the rate at which sunlight energyis converted into electricity, with higher rates meaning more output.

polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cell

Polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic cell. Source: Shanghai Join-In Import & Export Trading Co., Ltd.



One of the world records, which Mitsubishi Electric has nowrenewed for the third consecutive year, is a 19.3% efficiency rating forphotoelectric conversion of a practically-sized polycrystalline silicon PV cellof 100 squared centimeters or larger, with the PV cell measuring approximately15 cm x 15 cm x 200 micrometers. The rating is 0.2 points higher than thecompany's previous record of 19.1%. In 2008, the company achieved aworld-record photoelectric conversion efficiency rating of 17.4%.

The second world record, achieved with the same technologiesin an ultra-thin polycrystalline silicon PV cell measuring approximately 15 cmx 15 cm x 100 micrometers, is an efficiency rating of 18.1%, a 0.7-pointimprovement over the company's previous record of 17.4%.

The conversion efficiency rates have been confirmed by the NationalInstitute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan.

Mitsubishi Electric will be developing mass-productiontechnology to deliver these high conversion rates in commercial PV modules. Thecompany also aims to increase the output of its PV systems by combining thistechnology with PV inverters capable of high-efficiency conversion of dccurrent to ac.

Growing demand for PV systems drove the global production ofPV cells to reach 5,500 megawatts (MW) in the fiscal year ending March 2009,and is expected to reach 8,000 MW in 2012. Mitsubishi Electric's breakthroughsare important considering that, with the use of crystalline silicon PV cellscontinuing to increase, PV cell manufacturers are looking for ways to improvethe conversion efficiency of these cells to gain more output power from limitedsurfaces. At the same time, PV cell manufacturers are trying to achieve moreoutput power while reducing the thickness of PV cells, thereby reducing theirdependence on silicon and the related risk of sharply fluctuating prices forthis material.

Access

other ControlEngineering content related to solar energy:

 

-Edited by DavidGreenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering
News Desk





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.