Alta Devices recently launched its Gen4 commercial solar cell technology, which the Sunnyvale, California-based company says demonstrates a significant weight reduction from the previous third-generation version, resulting in an improved power-to-weight ratio of 160%.
The Gen4 technology is designed specifically for autonomous power, allowing vehicles to recharge seamlessly while they are in motion, Alta Devices says. The company’s AnyLight power technology can extend the energy source of a system, cutting the traditional power cord completely in many cases.
Their solution is aimed at use in unmanned systems, satellites, consumer electronics, sensors, automotive, remote exploration, or in other cases where size, weight, and mobility are important factors.
“This technology is critical for tomorrow’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), solar cars, and other electric vehicles,” according to the company. “It can be used to generate substantial power over small surfaces with minimal impact to vehicle design criteria.”
Alta’s solar technology can integrate into the surface of a high-altitude, long endurance, unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE UAV), for example, providing abundant power without upsetting aerodynamics, the company says. The Gen4 tech helps reserve the power and weight budget for communication payloads instead, according to the Hanergy company.
On July 2, Alta announced that NREL certified its most recent single junction solar cell as being 28.9% efficient, confirming a new world record for this type of solar cell. For most of the last 10 years, the company has held continuous world records for solar efficiency.
“Alta Devices goal is to continue to lead the industry in solar technology and to enable a broad range of autonomous systems,” said Alta Devices CEO Jian Ding. “We believe this is the best way to support the innovations of our customers.”