In 2010, Alta Devices first broke the world record for single-junction solar cell efficiency. Since then, Alta Devices has broken the world record four more times (consecutively) and holds the current world record at 28.8%. In 2016 Alta Devices broke the world record for dual-junction cell efficiency and holds the current world record at 31.6%.
In 2012 and 2013, Alta Devices was named to MIT’s list of “Most Disruptive Companies” for their groundbreaking work bringing high efficiency thin film GaAs solar technology to the mass market.
Battery recharging on mobile devices and in other mobile applications is one of the biggest challenges today. This whitepaper introduces a thin-film solar technology from Alta Devices that not only extends battery life for mobile devices but because of its flexibility, can be integrated into UAVs, automobiles, Internet of Things devices, wearables or for many other mobile powered applications.
GaAs was first developed by Zhores Alferov in the USSR in 1970. It’s superior performance quickly led to the replacement of silicon based solar panels for space applications. During the 1980s our founders began experimenting with methods to commercialize GaAs.
Alta Devices is founded with the goal of bringing high efficiency thin film GaAs technology to the masses. The initial goal was to introduce this technology in traditional solar markets like rooftop and BiPV. We would not shift our focus to mobile markets until 2012.
We began by proving that high efficiency thin film GaAs could be grown and mass produced at high efficiencies. It was during this time Alta operated more like an extension of University research.
In 2012, Alta Devices broke the single-junction cell efficiency world record at 28.8%. We also broke the dual-junction cell efficiency world record at 31.6% in 2016.
After proving the technology was possible, we began building our pilot line for low rate production of GaAs thin film solar cells. It was during this time we built and implemented three unique tools that allow us to mass produce thin film GaAs: Our high throughput Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD), mass production Epitaxial Lift Off (ELO), and cell matrix assembly tools.
In July 2014, Alta Devices was acquired by the renewable energy giant Hanergy Holdings. We joined a portfolio of three other thin film solar companies: Solibro, Global Solar, and MiaSole. As of 2015, we are listed as a part of Hanergy Thin Film Solar Group on the Hong Kong Exchange.
The mass production of thin, lightweight, and highly efficient GaAs solar cells will allow Alta Devices to provide its solar technology to both traditional solar and mobile power markets.