Solar cell hits 40.8% efficiency10/01/2008 23:07
I'm going to start this log with what is perhaps the best news I've heard this year. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced they have achieved an efficiency of 40.8% conversion for their latest gallium arsenide solar panels. While the exact design is not known to me, they appear to have made the jump using a spectrum approach in the manufacture approach. This is good news as manufacture is cheaper, in the long run, than materials. And since the NREL is a U.S. Department of Energy brainchild, that means we have the patent.
Now, this design is apparently tailored to a mirror reflection apparatus, namely for use in a sun harvesting field. But that doesn't mean it can't be modified for modular home roof use. And a low-cost, high output solar product has the capability to repeat the great computer revolution that kept this country at the forefront of an economic boom.