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Researchers evaluate the application of III-V solar cells in electric vehicles

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:36

A new study in Japan shows that by 2030, the photovoltaic installation of solar electric vehicles may reach 50GW. Researchers say that due to limited roof space in electric vehicles, solar cells with efficiency higher than 30%, including multi junction III-V cells and III-V/Si cells, are candidates for application in the automotive industry. However, a series of technical and economic challenges must be addressed.

According to foreign media reports, researchers from Toyota Motor Company, electronics manufacturer Sharp, and the Japan New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) are conducting research on solar cells based on gallium arsenide (GaAs) and other III-V materials to evaluate the technological potential of applying them to passenger cars partially powered by solar photovoltaics.

Gallium arsenide (GaAs) and III-V solar cells have received widespread attention due to their high efficiency potential, but their applications are limited by cost.

Scientists suggest that by 2030, the cumulative installed capacity of photovoltaics may reach 50 GW, and by 2040, it could reach 0.4 TW. Researchers say, "If 70% of the passenger cars sold each year are equipped with PV modules with a rated power of 1kW, the annual market potential will reach 50GW."

Researchers suggest that technological improvements can be made in many ways, including reducing film thickness, high film growth rates, substrate reuse, and silicon in series solar cells. Importantly, economies of scale can be achieved through large-scale production. "The research results indicate that there are many ways to achieve a price of $10 per watt for III-V based solar cell modules, such as using high-speed growth methods to increase annual production to 10MW, or using silicon substrates to replace expensive gallium arsenide or germanium substrates."

The high-speed deposition (H-VPE) method can reduce the deposition cost of III-V materials without significantly reducing their performance. The researchers stated, "This method utilizes group III element groups to eliminate the processing required to form metal organic compounds, reducing the investment cost of group III by 10 times. H-VPE also provides higher throughput capacity, indicating that the growth rate of gallium arsenide can reach 300." μ "M/h" and improved the utilization rate of reactants However, the development of abrupt and defect free hetero interfaces still faces challenges, and further research is needed to improve resistance loss, external radiation efficiency, and understanding of bulk and interface recombination.

As for silicon-based III-V series batteries, researchers have stated that due to their efficiency of over 40%, light weight, and low cost, these batteries have enormous potential in automotive applications.

The study also briefly introduces the application results of Sharp's efficient III-V triple junction solar cell module on the Toyota Prius PHV, with an output power of 860W. The efficiency of the triple junction solar cell module is 32.84%, based on indium gallium phosphide (InGaP), gallium arsenide (GaAs), and indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs).