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Title: Device Architecture and Lifetime Requirements for High Efficiency Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells

We present a numerical simulation study of different multicrystalline silicon materials and solar cell architectures to understand today's efficiency limitations and future efficiency possibilities. We compare conventional full-area BSF and PERC solar cells to future cell designs with a gallium phosphide heteroemitter. For all designs, mc-Si materials with different excess carrier lifetime distributions are used as simulation input parameters to capture a broad range of materials. The results show that conventional solar cell designs are sufficient for generalized mean lifetimes between 40 – 90 μs, but do not give a clear advantage in terms of efficiency for higher mean lifetime mc-Si material because they are often limited by recombination in the phosphorus diffused emitter region. Heteroemitter designs instead increase in cell efficiency considerable up to generalized mean lifetimes of 380 μs because they are significantly less limited by recombination in the emitter and the bulk lifetime becomes more important. In conclusion, to benefit from increasing mc-Si lifetime, new cell designs, especially heteroemitter, are desirable.
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Conference: 5th International Conference on Silicon Photovoltaics, SiliconPV 2015, Konstanz, Germany,3/23/15 to 3/25/15
Research Org:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States