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Light management in thin-film solar cells

Light management in thin-film solar cells

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Light management in thin-film solar cells

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  1. Light management in thin-filmsolar cells Albert Polman Center for Nanophotonics FOM-Institute AMOLF Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  2. Vanguard satellite 1958

  3. The first practical solar panel (1954) Bell Laboratories (1954)

  4. 2010

  5. Price per solar Watt vs. installed power P. Maycock

  6. Solar irradiance on earth Black dots: area of solar panels neededto generate allof the worlds primary energy (all energy consumed:electricity, heat, fossil fuels) assuming 8% efficient photovoltaics

  7. Available renewable energy sources

  8. Solar cell basic geometry

  9. Solar cell operation

  10. Effects of Rshunt and Rseries on I-V curve Ideal IV curve Low Rsh Rsh = ∞ Rse = 0 High Rse

  11. Light is poorly absorbed in a thin-film solar cell Solar spectrum absorbed in 2 m thick Si film

  12. “Quantum defect” limits efficiency Photons are quantized energy packets: A 2 eV photon will give create max. 1 Volt over the p-n junction A 0.5 eV photon is not absorbed Eg(Si)=1.1 eV

  13. Triple-junction tandem solar cell 1.5 V 1.0 V 0.5 V

  14. Record efficiency solar cell

  15. Triple-junction tandem solar cell layer geometry From: Richard King (Spectrolab)

  16. Efficiency limits of different solar cell types (2010) 3-junction tandem crystal Si wafer thin film: CdTe poly-Si amorphous Si organic/polymer dye-sensitized other Too expensive Too low efficiency 2009: CdTe thin film cells costs: < 1 $/W

  17. Materials resources are limited Relative abundance of elements vs. atomic nr. • Requirements to construct 1 TW of PV with optically thick cells at 15% efficiency • Solutions: • 1) Earth Abundant Semiconductors (Si,Cu2O, Zn3P2, FeS2) • 2) Enhance Light Absorption/reduce semiconductor volume from P.H. Stauffer et al, Rare Earth Elements - Critical Resources for High Technology, USGS (2002)

  18. Photovoltaic materials production and reserve base

  19. Si solar cell efficiencies

  20. © Ron Tandberg