Gallium Arsenide Solar Cell Advantages & Disadvantages

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GaAs Solar Cell Benefits

There are two types of Gallium Arsenide Solar Cells.

  • Single-junction solar cell has a p-n junction to conduct the current flow that occurs when sunlight hits a semiconducting material.
  • Multi-junction solar cells, there are several p-n junction that can trigger current flows.

Coating the Gallium Arsenide solar cells with Gold (Au) nanoparticle microbars on a patterned surface greatly increased the cell's photovoltaic capacity by between 14.1% to 19.9% and by a factor of 2.5 to 3.6.

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Pros and Cons of Gallium Arsenide Solar Cells

Gallium arsenide solar cells are characterized by high efficiency and high prices, and that is why they have proved necessary for such high efficiencies and enable project budgets in the aerospace industry, one of the most important sectors in which they are widely used as cells.

Efficiency Of Gallium Arsenide Solar Cells

GaAs cells have an efficiency of 29% in laboratory tests, but the conditions in the real world are different. The efficiency can be reduced slightly, but can still be 20%, according to the researchers.
However, the decline in real world economic output is also due to a variety of other factors. Several tandem gallium solar cells have a higher efficiency in the laboratory, which is because the efficiency is calculated there under a concentrated light source.

Advantages Of Gallium Arsenide Solar Cells

The bandwidth of gallium arsenide makes it one of the most efficient solar cells in the world, and there are many advantages to its use as a solar cell material. These cells are an important competitor for the solar cell industry, especially where a high efficiency is preferred.
In the higher temperature zones, efficiency does not decrease, and the gallium arsenide cell material itself is only a few micrometers thick, which is slightly less than 1 micrometer thick.

Formation Of Single Junction Gallium Arsenide Solar Cells

The gallium arsenide cells are formed by a thin layer of monocrystalline material, and the layer is doped with an adjacent layer. It is not necessary to place this layer in a row, as it can be placed in a row of layers one on top of the other, like a single layer, for example in an array. Doping means adding impurities to gallium arsenide to make it electrically conductive. For example, if one layer is doped with positive particles, the next layer is doped with negative particles.

Cost Of Gallium Arsenide Solar Cells

Gallium arsenide is quite expensive, costing $10,000 per square meter, according to an estimate by the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. Substrate GaAs should have a very similar crystalline structure, with a high surface area of about 1,000 micrometers, or about one-third the size of a human hair. GaAs substrates are very expensive to produce, and some have tried to make a reusable substrate, but to no avail.

What is More Efficient? Multi-Junction or Tandem GaAs Solar Cells

The most modern and advanced solar cells in use today have a maximum energy density of about 1,000 watts per square meter. In fact, it is not only gallium arsenide that bodes well for the energy density of a single junction solar cell, but also for multiple junctions and multi-junction solar cells. Research institutions, companies and universities are working to reduce the price of these cells. Many other compounds have similar properties to Gallium Arsenide, such as Germanium, and Gallium Indium phosphide. This combination is very useful because it absorbs a wide range of sunlight and has a very high conversion efficiency. These cells were used on the Mars rover missions and can also be used for solar cells on the surface of Mars and other planets.