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

Record type: Article

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.

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Citation

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), pp. 2482-2490. (doi:10.1063/1.1338522).

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Published date: 2001

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 29496
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/29496
ISSN: 0021-8979
PURE UUID: 2987d78e-d5f1-4636-9181-e43a04162473

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Date deposited: 12 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:57

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Contributors

Author: Viorel Badescu
Author: Peter T. Landsberg
Author: Alexis De Vos
Author: Bart Desoete

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