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The best solar cells out there?

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  • The best solar cells out there?

    Hi,

    What are the best solar cells for size out there? I am looking to buy some to lay on the deck of an autonomous solar-powered boat that I have designed and am in the process of building. I wouldn't be able to accommodate huge cells on the deck of my boat and need as small as possible but want the highest efficiency that people can recommend out there.
    I know solar-tech is advancing extremely quickly at the moment so hit me with your top recommendations!

    Another quick question I have is that I spoke to someone recently and I told them I was going to cover my cells in epoxy on the deck and he said that this would reduce dramatically the efficiency of the cell. Is this the case?

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    Mitch

  • #2
    Originally posted by mitchellleary View Post
    What are the best solar cells for size out there? I am looking to buy some to lay on the deck of an autonomous solar-powered boat that I have designed and am in the process of building. I wouldn't be able to accommodate huge cells on the deck of my boat and need as small as possible but want the highest efficiency that people can recommend out there.
    Fraunhofer/Soitec now has quad-junction cells that hit 46% efficiency. Expect to spend around $10,000 a watt.
    Alta has thin film GaAs cells at around 30%. They are around $50 a watt.
    Another quick question I have is that I spoke to someone recently and I told them I was going to cover my cells in epoxy on the deck and he said that this would reduce dramatically the efficiency of the cell. Is this the case?
    Depends on the spectral transparency of the material, and how easily it sheds dirt and other deposits (like salt.)

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