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multijunction photovoltaic cells

Wikipedia definition:

Multi-junction solar cells or tandem cells are solar cells containing several p-n junctions. Each junction is tuned to a different wavelength of light, reducing one of the largest inherent sources of losses, and thereby increasing efficiency. Traditional single-junction cells have a maximum theoretical efficiency of 34%, a theoretical "infinite-junction" cell would improve this to 87% under highly concentrated sunlight. Currently, the best lab examples of traditional silicon solar cells have efficiencies around 25%, while lab examples of multi-junction cells have demonstrated performance over 43%. Commercial examples of tandem cells are widely available at 30% under one-sun illumination, and improve to around 40% under concentrated sunlight. However, this efficiency is gained at the cost of increased complexity and manufacturing price. To date, their higher price and lower price-to-performance ratio have limited their use to special roles, notably in aerospace where their high power-to-weight ratio is desirable. In terrestrial applications these solar cells are used in concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) with operating plants all over the world. Tandem techniques can also be used to improve the performance of existing cell designs, although there are strict limits in the choice of materials. In particular, the technique can be applied to thin-film solar cells using amorphous silicon to produce a cell with about 10% efficiency that is lightweight and flexible. This approach has been used by several commercial vendors, but these products are currently limited to certain niche roles, like roofing materials.

Source: dbpedia

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