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Title: The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh ( >50%) Solar Module Efficiencies

Abstract

The most feasible pathway to record 50% efficiency photovoltaic devices is by utilizing many (>4) junctions to minimize thermalization and nonabsorption losses. Here we propose a spectrum-splitting design, the polyhedral specular reflector (PSR), that employs an optical architecture to divide and concentrate incident sunlight, allowing the incorporation of more junctions compared with traditional monolithic architectures. This paper describes the PSR design and indicates the requirements to achieve a 50% efficiency module by coupling robust cell, optical, and electrical simulations. We predict that a module comprised of the seven subcells with an average external radiative efficiency of at least 3%, an optical architecture capable of a splitting efficiency of at least 88% and 300× concentration, small (≤1 μm) metallic fingers for subcell contact, and a state-of-the-art power conditioning system (>98% efficiency) can achieve a module efficiency of 50%, a record for both multijunction cells and modules. We also discuss the flexibility of the design and explore how adjusting the size and type of concentrators can still yield record module efficiencies (>40%).

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion (LMI); California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1566706
DOE Contract Number:  
AR0000333; SC0001293
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Publisher:
IEEE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
solar (photovoltaic), solid state lighting, phonons, thermal conductivity, electrodes - solar, materials and chemistry by design, optics, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly)

Citation Formats

Eisler, Carissa N., Flowers, Cristofer A., Warmann, Emily C., Lloyd, John V., Espinet-Gonzalez, Pilar, Darbe, Sunita, Dee, Michelle S., Escarra, Matthew D., Kosten, Emily D., Zhou, Weijun, and Atwater, Harry A. The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh ( >50%) Solar Module Efficiencies. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1109/jphotov.2018.2872109.
Eisler, Carissa N., Flowers, Cristofer A., Warmann, Emily C., Lloyd, John V., Espinet-Gonzalez, Pilar, Darbe, Sunita, Dee, Michelle S., Escarra, Matthew D., Kosten, Emily D., Zhou, Weijun, & Atwater, Harry A. The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh ( >50%) Solar Module Efficiencies. United States. doi:10.1109/jphotov.2018.2872109.
Eisler, Carissa N., Flowers, Cristofer A., Warmann, Emily C., Lloyd, John V., Espinet-Gonzalez, Pilar, Darbe, Sunita, Dee, Michelle S., Escarra, Matthew D., Kosten, Emily D., Zhou, Weijun, and Atwater, Harry A. Tue . "The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh ( >50%) Solar Module Efficiencies". United States. doi:10.1109/jphotov.2018.2872109.
@article{osti_1566706,
title = {The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh ( >50%) Solar Module Efficiencies},
author = {Eisler, Carissa N. and Flowers, Cristofer A. and Warmann, Emily C. and Lloyd, John V. and Espinet-Gonzalez, Pilar and Darbe, Sunita and Dee, Michelle S. and Escarra, Matthew D. and Kosten, Emily D. and Zhou, Weijun and Atwater, Harry A.},
abstractNote = {The most feasible pathway to record 50% efficiency photovoltaic devices is by utilizing many (>4) junctions to minimize thermalization and nonabsorption losses. Here we propose a spectrum-splitting design, the polyhedral specular reflector (PSR), that employs an optical architecture to divide and concentrate incident sunlight, allowing the incorporation of more junctions compared with traditional monolithic architectures. This paper describes the PSR design and indicates the requirements to achieve a 50% efficiency module by coupling robust cell, optical, and electrical simulations. We predict that a module comprised of the seven subcells with an average external radiative efficiency of at least 3%, an optical architecture capable of a splitting efficiency of at least 88% and 300× concentration, small (≤1 μm) metallic fingers for subcell contact, and a state-of-the-art power conditioning system (>98% efficiency) can achieve a module efficiency of 50%, a record for both multijunction cells and modules. We also discuss the flexibility of the design and explore how adjusting the size and type of concentrators can still yield record module efficiencies (>40%).},
doi = {10.1109/jphotov.2018.2872109},
journal = {IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics},
issn = {2156-3381},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}