Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells

M. D. Kelzenberg, M. C. Putnam, D. B. Turner-Evans, Nathan S Lewis, H. A. Atwater

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Solar cells based on arrays of CVD-grown Si nano- or micro-wires have attracted interest as potentially low-cost alternatives to conventional wafer-based Si photovoltaics [1-6], and single-wire solar cells have been reported with efficiencies of up to 3.4% [7]. We recently presented device physics simulations which predicted efficiencies exceeding 17%, based on experimentally observed diffusion lengths within our wires [8]. However, this model did not take into account the optical properties of a wire array device - in particular the inherently low packing fraction of wires within CVD-grown wire arrays, which might limit their ability to fully absorb incident sunlight. For this reason, we have combined a device physics model of Si wire solar cells with FDTD simulations of light absorption within wire arrays to investigate the potential photovoltaic efficiency of this cell geometry. We have found that even a sparsely packed array (14%) is expected to absorb moderate (66%) amounts of above-bandgap solar energy, yielding a simulated photovoltaic efficiency of 14.5%. Because the wire array comprises such a small volume of Si, the observed absorption represents an effective optical concentration, which enables greater operating voltages than previously predicted for Si wire array solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Pages1948-1953
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event2009 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2009 - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 7 2009Jun 12 2009

Other

Other2009 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2009
CountryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA
Period6/7/096/12/09

Fingerprint

Solar cell arrays
Wire
Solar cells
Chemical vapor deposition
Physics
Solar energy
Light absorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this

Kelzenberg, M. D., Putnam, M. C., Turner-Evans, D. B., Lewis, N. S., & Atwater, H. A. (2009). Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells. In Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (pp. 1948-1953). [5411542] https://doi.org/10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411542

Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells. / Kelzenberg, M. D.; Putnam, M. C.; Turner-Evans, D. B.; Lewis, Nathan S; Atwater, H. A.

Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. 2009. p. 1948-1953 5411542.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Kelzenberg, MD, Putnam, MC, Turner-Evans, DB, Lewis, NS & Atwater, HA 2009, Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells. in Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference., 5411542, pp. 1948-1953, 2009 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2009, Philadelphia, PA, United States, 6/7/09. https://doi.org/10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411542
Kelzenberg MD, Putnam MC, Turner-Evans DB, Lewis NS, Atwater HA. Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells. In Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. 2009. p. 1948-1953. 5411542 https://doi.org/10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411542
Kelzenberg, M. D. ; Putnam, M. C. ; Turner-Evans, D. B. ; Lewis, Nathan S ; Atwater, H. A. / Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells. Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference. 2009. pp. 1948-1953
@inproceedings{09d9b7eb75244757b70112b73a9541da,
title = "Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells",
abstract = "Solar cells based on arrays of CVD-grown Si nano- or micro-wires have attracted interest as potentially low-cost alternatives to conventional wafer-based Si photovoltaics [1-6], and single-wire solar cells have been reported with efficiencies of up to 3.4{\%} [7]. We recently presented device physics simulations which predicted efficiencies exceeding 17{\%}, based on experimentally observed diffusion lengths within our wires [8]. However, this model did not take into account the optical properties of a wire array device - in particular the inherently low packing fraction of wires within CVD-grown wire arrays, which might limit their ability to fully absorb incident sunlight. For this reason, we have combined a device physics model of Si wire solar cells with FDTD simulations of light absorption within wire arrays to investigate the potential photovoltaic efficiency of this cell geometry. We have found that even a sparsely packed array (14{\%}) is expected to absorb moderate (66{\%}) amounts of above-bandgap solar energy, yielding a simulated photovoltaic efficiency of 14.5{\%}. Because the wire array comprises such a small volume of Si, the observed absorption represents an effective optical concentration, which enables greater operating voltages than previously predicted for Si wire array solar cells.",
author = "Kelzenberg, {M. D.} and Putnam, {M. C.} and Turner-Evans, {D. B.} and Lewis, {Nathan S} and Atwater, {H. A.}",
year = "2009",
doi = "10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411542",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781424429509",
pages = "1948--1953",
booktitle = "Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - Predicted efficiency of Si wire array solar cells

AU - Kelzenberg, M. D.

AU - Putnam, M. C.

AU - Turner-Evans, D. B.

AU - Lewis, Nathan S

AU - Atwater, H. A.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Solar cells based on arrays of CVD-grown Si nano- or micro-wires have attracted interest as potentially low-cost alternatives to conventional wafer-based Si photovoltaics [1-6], and single-wire solar cells have been reported with efficiencies of up to 3.4% [7]. We recently presented device physics simulations which predicted efficiencies exceeding 17%, based on experimentally observed diffusion lengths within our wires [8]. However, this model did not take into account the optical properties of a wire array device - in particular the inherently low packing fraction of wires within CVD-grown wire arrays, which might limit their ability to fully absorb incident sunlight. For this reason, we have combined a device physics model of Si wire solar cells with FDTD simulations of light absorption within wire arrays to investigate the potential photovoltaic efficiency of this cell geometry. We have found that even a sparsely packed array (14%) is expected to absorb moderate (66%) amounts of above-bandgap solar energy, yielding a simulated photovoltaic efficiency of 14.5%. Because the wire array comprises such a small volume of Si, the observed absorption represents an effective optical concentration, which enables greater operating voltages than previously predicted for Si wire array solar cells.

AB - Solar cells based on arrays of CVD-grown Si nano- or micro-wires have attracted interest as potentially low-cost alternatives to conventional wafer-based Si photovoltaics [1-6], and single-wire solar cells have been reported with efficiencies of up to 3.4% [7]. We recently presented device physics simulations which predicted efficiencies exceeding 17%, based on experimentally observed diffusion lengths within our wires [8]. However, this model did not take into account the optical properties of a wire array device - in particular the inherently low packing fraction of wires within CVD-grown wire arrays, which might limit their ability to fully absorb incident sunlight. For this reason, we have combined a device physics model of Si wire solar cells with FDTD simulations of light absorption within wire arrays to investigate the potential photovoltaic efficiency of this cell geometry. We have found that even a sparsely packed array (14%) is expected to absorb moderate (66%) amounts of above-bandgap solar energy, yielding a simulated photovoltaic efficiency of 14.5%. Because the wire array comprises such a small volume of Si, the observed absorption represents an effective optical concentration, which enables greater operating voltages than previously predicted for Si wire array solar cells.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77951520363&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77951520363&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411542

DO - 10.1109/PVSC.2009.5411542

M3 - Conference contribution

AN - SCOPUS:77951520363

SN - 9781424429509

SP - 1948

EP - 1953

BT - Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference

ER -