Honestly, the solar business unit here at Indium is growing tremendously, and I'm proud to say that it looks like it is attracting the most interest out of all the markets we service right now. Indium engineers from around the world are converting to "the solar side", and I love it! Tony Howard from our European office has been digging into solar technology and has this to say:
"I was recently tasked to understand the Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems (CPV) a bit closer and get a feel for the efficiencies available and the future trends. CPV is the super high-end of PVs. Cell efficiencies have been increasing fast over the past few years are now around 43% and will produce 35 watts from a 1 cm square multi- junction chip. They are costly, require a tracking system and sunlight magnification by use of either a Fresnel Lens or parabolic mirrors, their use is mainly restricted to space satellites and terrestrial solar farms. There is talk of the efficiency increasing to 50% by 2015.
I recently visited a CPV customer who suggested that the efficiency levels are improving all the time and they are becoming very competitive to the Thin Film and Silicon based systems." –Tony
Certainly, maximum efficiency can be worth the cost when space is at a premium – it may become an even easier decision in the future.