Sharp Corp announced that it has achieved a module conversion efficiency of 31.17% with a triple-junction compound semiconductor photovoltaic (PV) cell at the time of not concentrating light.
The module measures about 31 x 31cm (area: 968cm2). Sharp has already achieved an efficiency fo 37.9% with a PV cell having an area of 1.047cm2. But the 31.17% efficiency is one of the world's highest efficiencies of large-size modules. The latest compound semiconductor PV cell was developed as part of a project of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Thus far, the use of compound semiconductor PV cells is limited to artificial satellites, etc because their price is generally several tens of times higher than that of silicon-based PV cells of the same size.
Sharp plans to further increase the efficiency and lower the cost, aiming to have the PV cell adopted for applications on the ground such as automobiles that require a light weight.