Alta Devices says its gallium arsenide thin-film solar cells could provide virtually limitless power for unmanned aerial vehicles, while adding “practically no weight.”
As part of its emphasis on using high-efficiency thin-film cells for mobile power, Alta Devices shows of a flexible military charging mat.
Scientists at UC Berkeley created solar cells with improved efficiency, but not because they absorb light better—because they emit it better.
PV keeps getting better: Alta Devices says its panel registered 23.5 percent efficiency, while Semprius, using concentrated photovoltaics, hit 33.9 percent.
Berkeley researchers realized that external fluorescence output was the key to building a solar cell that busted the old efficiency records.
GE, ConocoPhillips and NRG will pool $300 million to invest in early- and growth-stage energy-related technology companies, some of which are cleantech.