EMCORE Corporation has announced that its world record Inverted Metamorphic (IMM) solar cell technology has been chosen by R&D Magazine for an R&D 100 award. This prestigious award recognizes the IMM solar cell as one of the most innovative technologies of 2008.
This revolutionary solar cell technology provides a platform for EMCORE’s next generation photovoltaic products for space and terrestrial solar power applications. Solar cells built using IMM technology recently achieved world record conversion efficiency of 33% used in space, and it is anticipated that efficiency levels in the 42%-45% range will be achieved when adapted for use under the 500-1500X concentrated illumination, typical in terrestrial concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems. Once commercialized, the CPV systems that are powered with EMCORE’s IMM based products will see a reduction in the cost of power generated by approximately 10% to 20%. EMCORE expects to commercialize this technology for both space and terrestrial applications in 2009.
Developed in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Vehicle Systems Directorate of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the IMM design is comprised of a novel combination of compound semiconductors that enables a superior response to the solar spectrum as compared to conventional multi-junction architecture. Due to its unique design, the IMM cell is approximately one fifteenth the thickness of the conventional multi-junction solar cell and will enable a new class of extremely lightweight, high-efficiency, and flexible solar arrays for space applications. Furthermore, this technology can be readily integrated into EMCORE’s complete line of CPV receiver products and the increased conversion efficiency will enable the most cost effective CPV systems. EMCORE has developed a strong intellectual property position for this innovative technology, with over 10 patents pending in the area of solar cell design and manufacturing techniques.
David Danzilio, Vice President and General Manager of EMCORE’s Photovoltaics Division stated, “We are pleased that the IMM solar cell platform has been chosen as one of the top technical innovations of 2008. In collaboration with NREL and AFRL, our industry leading scientists and engineers continue to refine and optimize multi-junction solar cell technology to reach higher and higher efficiency performance. This continual investment in our fundamental solar cell technology and production capabilities will support our customer’s needs and enable the next generation of space and terrestrial solar power systems in performance and cost.”