Statistical thermodynamic foundation for photovoltaic and photothermal conversion. IV. Solar cells with larger-than-unity quantum efficiency revisited


Badescu, Viorel, Landsberg, Peter T., De Vos, Alexis and Desoete, Bart (2001) Statistical thermodynamic foundation for photovoltaic and photothermal conversion. IV. Solar cells with larger-than-unity quantum efficiency revisited. Journal of Applied Physics, 89, (4), 2482-2490. (doi:10.1063/1.1338522).

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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1338522

Description/Abstract

A detailed balance solar energy conversion model offering a single treatment of both photovoltaic and photothermal conversion is expounded. It includes a heat rejection mechanism. The effect of multiple impact ionizations on the solar cell efficiency is reconsidered by including the constraints dictated by the first law of thermodynamics (which already exist in the model) and it improves of course the solar cell efficiency. However the upper bound efficiencies previously derived are too optimistic as they do not take into consideration the necessary increase in solar cell temperature. The cell efficiency operating under unconcentrated radiation is a few percent lower than in the ideal case (i.e., with perfect cooling). Wider band gap materials are recommended for those applications where the cell cooling is not effective. The best operation of naturally ventilated cells is under unconcentrated or slightly concentrated solar radiation. Increasing the (forced) ventilation rate allows an increase of the optimum concentration ratio. Additional effects such as the radiation reflectance and radiative pair recombination efficiency are also considered. A sort of threshold minimum band gap depending on the last effect is emphasized: materials with band gaps narrower than this threshold are characterized by very low cell efficiency.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
ePrint ID: 29496
Date Deposited: 12 May 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:17
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/29496

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