New Mexico Patent of the Month – February 2021
Solar power has become increasingly popular over the years as we search for green, renewable, and sustainable energy and resources. Solar panel technology is moving away from silicon semiconductor devices and leaning towards III-V compound semiconductor multijunction devices. This type of solar cell was first used in space application, but has paved the way for better solar panels here on Earth. With more efficient energy conversion (9% more efficient than silicon technology) III-V semiconductor multijunction devices are a better option. However, even slight changes in variables such as number of cells, thickness of cells, electron energy levels, conduction, ambient radiation exposure, among others, affects the efficiency of the solar device. These measures are independent of each other, differ with each application, and change with the life cycle of the device. It’s SolAero Technologies Corp’s intention to improve the photoconversion efficiency for space application of multijunction solar cells.
Two or more spatially split multijunction solar cell assemblies can be joined so that the lower subcells, which have better current generation abilities, can receive current from the upper subcells, enhancing the voltage and efficiency. The photoconversion efficiency can be increased over the lifetime of the power system for space application by utilizing high band gap semiconductor material for the upper subcells.
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