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P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

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Photovoltaic Energy Conversion Frank Zimmermann
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Page 1: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic

Energy Conversion

Frank Zimmermann

Page 2: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Solar Electricity Generation

Consumes no fuel

No pollution

No greenhouse gases

No moving parts, little or no maintenance

Sunlight is plentiful & inexhaustible

Cost competitive with fossil fuels/nuclear. Cost

coming down every year.

Considerably cheaper than electricity from coal if cost

of carbon capture is factored in

Great promise for solving global warming and fossil

fuel depletion problems!

Page 3: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics: Explosive Growth

Sustained growth of 30 – 50 % per year

Page 4: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Extrapolation of historical PV

module prices

Page 5: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Actual 2013 PV Module Cost:

~ 50 cents/Watt!

“Grid Parity” has been reached in India, Italy, Spain, and other

countries

Page 6: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Challenges

Make solar cells more efficient

Theoretical energy conversion efficiency limit of single junction solar cell is 31%

Actual efficiencies are even lower: ≤ ~20%

Make solar cells cheaper

“Grid Parity” has been achieved in some countries, others are soon to follow

Require high reliability, long service life

Use only abundant, nontoxic materials

Page 7: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Power reaching earth 1.37 KW/m2

Page 8: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Solar cell – Working Principle

Operating diode in fourth quadrant generates power

Page 9: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Semiconductor Bandgaps

Crystalline silicon is by far the most important PV material.

Page 10: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Thin Film Solar Cells

Produced from polycrystalline thin films

Cheaper than single crystal silicon

High optical absorption coefficients

Bandgap suited to solar spectrum

Poly-Si

CdTe

CIGS (Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide)

Organic and Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Page 11: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

CuInSe2 (with Ga: “CIGS”)

Page 12: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

CIGS Solar Cell

Page 13: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Band Diagram CIGS Solar Cell

Page 14: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Organic Solar Cells

Page 15: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Plasmon Resonances of Metal

Nanoparticles

Page 16: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Plasmon Resonances of Metal

Nanoparticles

Page 17: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Light Concentration using

Nanoparticle Plasmon Resonances

Page 18: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

Page 19: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Dye Sensitizer Molecules

N

N

N

N Pd

COOH

COOH

HOOC

COOH

N NNN Pd

O

HO

OHO

O

OH

OH

O

N N

NN

Pd

OH

OO

OH

1a 1b 2

N

N

N

N Pd

COOH

COOH

HOOC

COOH

N NNN Pd

O

HO

OHO

O

OH

OH

O

N N

NN

Pd

OH

OO

OH

1a 1b 2

Page 20: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Dye Sensitized Solar Cells

EF

EF

Transparent

Conductive

Oxide

TiO2 Nanoparticles Electrolyte Counter

Electrode

Valence Band

Conduction Band

Fermi Level

I-/I3

-

Redox

Potential

Dye

1D

3D*

1D*

Energy Levels (Illuminated)

Photo

Voltageh

Injection

EFEF

Transparent

Conductive

Oxide

TiO2 Nanoparticles ElectrolyteCounter

Electrode

Valence Band

Conduction Band

Fermi Level

I-/I3

-

Redox

Potential

Dye

1D

3D*

1D*

Energy Levels (Dark)

Page 21: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Efficiency Losses in Solar Cell

1 = Thermalization loss

2 and 3 = Junction and contact voltage loss

4 = Recombination loss

Page 22: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Conversion Efficiency Limits

Thermodynamic limit:

Carnot efficiency: 1 − 𝑇𝑐

𝑇𝑠= 1 −

300𝐾

6000𝐾= 0.95

Ultimate efficiency (T = 0) for single junction: 45%

Detailed balance limit for single junction:

Shockley and Queisser (1961)

Page 23: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Ultimate Efficiency

Sub-bandgap photons are not absorbed:

Carrier relaxation to band edges:

Photon energy exceeding bandgap is lost electron

hole

gap photon

Page 24: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Ultimate Efficiency

Let Q(T) be the photon flux in blackbody radiation of

temperature T with photon energy ℎ > 𝐸𝑔:

𝑄 𝑇 = 2

𝑐2

2𝑑

𝑒ℎν/𝑘𝑇 − 1

𝐸𝑔/ℎ

photon flux = number of photons / (unit area unit time)

The total energy flux in the blackbody radiation is:

𝐼𝑠 = 2ℎ

𝑐2

3𝑑

𝑒ℎν/𝑘𝑇 − 1

0

Energy flux = energy / (unit area unit time)

Page 25: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Ultimate Efficiency

Incident solar power: 𝑃in = 𝐴 𝐼s

Electrical output power: 𝑃out = 𝐴 𝐸g𝑄 𝑇s

Ultimate efficiency: ult =𝑃out

𝑃in=𝐸g𝑄(𝑇s)

𝐼s

• For 𝑇s = 6000 K, the ultimate efficiency is maximized for a band gap

of 𝐸g = 1.1 eV, reaching ult ≈ 45%.

• Ultimate efficiency can only be achieved if there is perfect

absorption of blackbody radiation at 𝑇 = 𝑇s and the cell

temperature 𝑇c = 0.

• It does not take into account carrier recombination, which must

occur at 𝑇c > 0.

Page 26: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance Limit

For finite cell temperature, need to take into account

carrier recombination.

Use the principle of detailed balance (Shockley and

Queisser, 1961).

First consider solid angle of sun, as seen from earth:

sun

solar cell

(area A)

solid angle

• = 6.85 × 10−5 steradians

(no concentration)

• may be greatly enhanced

using solar concentrators

(lenses, parabolic reflectors).

• Set 𝜃 = 0 from here on (normal

incidence).

Page 27: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance Limit

Incident solar power (= absorbed power)

𝑃s = 𝐴 𝐼s

# of e-h pairs created (given by # of absorbed photons):

𝐹s = 𝐴 𝑄(𝑇s)

Now consider solar cell in thermal equilibrium, i.e.,

surrounded by a box at 𝑇 = 𝑇c:

𝐹c = 2 𝐴 𝑄(𝑇c) = recombination rate 𝑇c 𝑇c

both sides

e-h pair creation rate =

“detailed balance”

𝐹𝑐 = 𝐹𝑐 0 (zero voltage)

Page 28: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance Limit

From the Fermi distribution: (β =1

𝑘𝐵𝑇 )

𝑛 = 1

𝑒β(𝐸𝑐−μ𝑛)+1 ≈ 𝑒−𝛽 𝐸𝑐−μ𝑛 𝑝 = 1 −

1

𝑒β(𝐸𝑣−μ𝑝)+1

≈ 𝑒𝛽 𝐸𝑣−μ𝑝

thus 𝑛 𝑝 = 𝑒−𝛽𝐸𝑔 𝑒𝛽𝑞𝑉 (𝑞𝑉 = μ𝑛 − μ𝑝)

and 𝐹𝑐 𝑉 = 𝐹𝑐 0 𝑒𝛽𝑞𝑉

electron density

hole density

V

𝐸𝑐

𝐸𝑣 μ𝑝

μ𝑛

Apply a voltage V across the junction:

recombination rate:

𝐹𝑐 𝑉 ∝ 𝑛 𝑝

Page 29: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance Limit

Photocurrent:

𝑖 = 𝑞 𝐹𝑠 − 𝐹𝑐 𝑉 = 𝑞 𝐹𝑠 − 𝐹𝑐 0 𝑒𝛽𝑞𝑉

number of e-h pairs created

recombination rate

Page 30: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance Limit

Output power: 𝑃out = 𝑖𝑉 = 𝑞 𝐹𝑠 − 𝐹𝑐 0 𝑒𝛽𝑞𝑉 𝑉

Maximize output power: set 𝑑(𝑖𝑉)

𝑑𝑉= 0, solve for 𝑉max

𝑖max = 𝑖(𝑉max)

Maximum output power: 𝑃max = 𝑖max𝑉max

Page 31: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance

Limit

maximum efficiency:

max =𝑃max

𝑃s=𝑖max𝑉max

𝐴𝐼sΩ/𝜋

re-write in terms of ultimate efficiency ult =𝐸g𝐹s

𝑃s and

short-circuit current 𝑖sh = 𝑖 0 = 𝑞 𝐹s − 𝐹c(0) ≈ 𝑞𝐹s :

max = ult 𝑞 𝑉oc

𝐸g 𝑉max

𝑉oc 𝑖max

𝑖sh

reduction of 𝑉oc from zero-temperature value 𝐸g

𝑞

“fill factor”

Page 32: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Detailed Balance Limit

In the limit 𝑇𝑐 → 0, the efficiency max → ult

This is an idealized result. In real life, < max due to

non-radiative recombination, contact resistance,

reflection losses, etc.

ult 31% for 6000 K blackbody

(no concentration)

Page 33: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Strategies to Exceed Shockley-

Queisser Efficiency Limit:

Multi-junction cells (“Tandem cells”)

Multiple electron-hole pairs per photon

Intermediate-band solar cells

Quantum-dot solar cells

Thermophotovoltaic cells

Page 34: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Multiple Junctions: Tandem Cells

Current output matched for individual cells

Ideal efficiency for infinite stack is 86.8%

GaInP/GaAs/Ge tandem cells (efficiency 40%)

Page 35: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Triple Junction Solar Cell

Page 36: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Triple Junction Solar Cell

Page 37: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Triple Junction Solar Cell

Page 38: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Multi-Junction Solar Cells

Page 39: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Multiple E-H pairs

Many E-H pairs created by incident photon

through impact ionization of hot carriers

Theoretical efficiency is 85.9%

Page 40: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Intermediate-Band PV cell

Intermediate band created by:

• Impurity levels

• Quantum dot states (“quantum dot solar cell”)

Page 41: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Thermophotovoltaic Cell

Filter passes photons of energy equal to bandgap of solar cell material

Emitter radiation matched with spectral sensitivity of cell

Page 42: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Thermophotovoltaic Cells

Theoretical efficiency almost twice of ordinary

photocell

Page 43: P627 S13 L24 22Apr2013 Zimmermann Photovoltaics

Comparison and history of

PV conversion efficiencies


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