Photo: MicroLink Devices
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has just given the green light to the commercialization of what are considered the most efficient solar cells in the world. These are IMM (inverted metamorphic solar cells), used for space satellites and solar aircraft, which will henceforth be marketed by the company MicroLink Devices, which could offer solutions with a power greater than 3,000 W / kg.
Patented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the United States, the NREL, these cells stand out for their high efficiency and for significant cost savings compared to other common technologies on the market. This is stated by the US Department of Energy in a statement announcing the agreement reached with the Illinois-based company.
Thus, the decision marks the starting point of a process that is expected to “open the door to new applications” of IMMs, as stated by the DOE. And it is that, its solar technology, muscle to prosper is not lacking. Not in vain, these cells are considered the most efficient, among other aspects due to a design that allows them to capture energy from a greater portion of the solar spectrum. “They are highly efficient and extremely versatile,” they emphasize from the US administration.
For this, the cell creation phase was totally rethought. So much so that IMMs invert the usual sequence for triple-junction cells, reducing production costs, among other strengths. One of the most outstanding is the ease that IMM cells provide for a reflector to be added, something especially valuable for concentrating photovoltaic solar energy systems where heat accumulation can represent a problem for equipment. Thus, with NREL’s proprietary technology, not only would the system be kept cool, but energy could be redirected in a way that boosts the efficiency of the cell.
To these aspects is added another fundamental advantage: the reduction of the weight of the solar cells that the architecture of the IMM allows. This aspect makes this technology a perfect fit for applications for which this aspect is key, such as unmanned aerial vehicles that are powered by solar energy.
With the industry interest almost done, MicroLink Devices will now turn to the production of thin, light and flexible solar cells that could be used, in addition to special satellites and solar aerial vehicles, in any portable application for the generation of clean energy.