QuantaSol Ltd, a new independent designer and manufacturer of strain-balanced quantum-well solar cells, has developed what it believes to be the most efficient single junction solar cell ever manufactured. Developed in just two years, QuantaSol's single-junction device has been independently tested by Fraunhofer ISE as achieving 28.3% efficiency at greater than 500 suns.
QuantaSol was established in June 2007 as a spin-out of Imperial College London to commercialise the University's solar cell IP and offer devices to concentrator Photovoltaic (PV) systems developers. Imperial will be featuring a QuantaSol device as part of its presence at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in London this week.
"Our technology is the industry's best kept secret. This is the first time that anyone has successfully combined high efficiency with ease of manufacture, historically a bug-bear of the solar cell industry," said Kevin Arthur, QuantaSol's CEO. "We're now gearing up to provide multi-junction cells of even higher efficiencies as early as Q1 2010."
QuantaSol's approach combines several nanostructures, of two or more different alloys, in order to obtain synthetic crystals that overcome the problems associated with current solar cell designs. It also greatly enhances the photovoltaic conversion efficiency.
The company, which has a development laboratory in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, completed a £2m second funding round last week. It will now concentrate on cutting the cost of ownership of solar energy by moving to multi-junction devices.