Left: High efficiency Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) cell based on semiconductor nanotechnology.
Above: Our cells may be smaller, yet are more efficient!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is unique about Cyrium's solar cells?

Cyrium's solar cells not only have record efficiencies, but they exhibit nearly constant efficiency over solar intensities varying from 200 to 1000 suns.

Other multi-junction solar cell technologies typically peak at some sun concentration value and decline quickly (efficiency roll-off) with increasing concentration.

Solar cells with high roll-off have limitations commercially because Concentrator Photovoltaics (CPV) manufacturers typically require the efficiency to be highest at 500 sun concentration or greater.

Another benefit of the very low roll-off feature of Cyrium's cells is that CPV systems often have a variable intensity profile when the sun is focused on an array of cells so that cells need to perform even when the peak concentration is two to three times higher than the nominal concentration.

Cyrium's technological achievements include reduced series resistance and cell sizes that are optimum for most efficient commercial use. The CPV industry uses solar cells that are typically 3 to 10 mm on a side. Many claims for superior performance have been made on behalf of tiny cells sized in the range of one millimeter or so that are not necessarily practical for real CPV applications.

It is important to point out that these cells are not special designs from a Research and Development Laboratory. They are produced on standard semiconductor manufacturing equipment at selected commercial suppliers.

Is the >40% quoted efficiency real and accurate?

It is as real and accurate as we can measure it and these efficiencies have been validated by sample testing at potential clients.

We have used the best available measurement equipment and we are confident that these measurements are as accurate as current technology permits. In fact we have measured cells with efficiencies of 42% but we have chosen to quote a lower number to be conservative and to be representative of the average cell capability.

In any type of semiconductor production there is an inherent variability in devices produced and it is not our practice to base our efficiency claims on a few "champion cells".

Why does a few percent in efficiency make a difference to the CPV industry?

Our understanding of the economics of the CPV industry is that a 1% increase in efficiency improves the overall return on investment for a CPV operator by three to six percent.

That suggests that Cyrium's super efficient cells will significantly improve the economics of the CPV industry given that current commercial cell efficiencies average about 37%.

How much do your solar cells cost?

With the launch of its initial product Cyrium expects to be competitive with incumbent suppliers, though the minimum efficiency we will deliver will be higher.

CPV is a young industry, which means it provides many opportunities for reducing costs. Cyrium has a definitive cost reduction road map which focused on delivering CPV systems providers the optimum levelized cost of energy.

What is ASCC?

ASCC stands for "Application-Specific Concentrator Cells". Through Cyrium's ASCC program, customers can request cells with customized physical attributes or performance characteristics that will optimize the system level performance.

The ASCC program is a fee based engineering customization service used to tailor and optimize QDEC cell performance based on the client’s system design and application requirements.

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