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Title: Equivalent Performance in Three-Terminal and Four-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells

Abstract

Tandem or multijunction solar cells are a promising method to circumvent the efficiency limit of single-junction solar cells, but there is ongoing debate over how best to interconnect the subcells in a tandem cell. In addition to four-terminal and two-terminal tandem cell architectures, a new three-terminal tandem cell architecture has recently been demonstrated, which features a standard two-terminal (front-back) circuit as well as an interdigitated back contact (IBC) circuit connected to the bottom cell. It has no middle contacts, and thus, maintains some of the simplicity of a two-terminal tandem. In this study, we measure four-terminal GaInP//Si and GaInP/GaAs//Si tandem cells in four-terminal and three-terminal configurations by connecting wires to mimic a three-terminal architecture. We demonstrate that both modes allow the same efficiencies exceeding 30% to be attained. Furthermore, we show that the IBC circuit not only collects excess power from the bottom cell, but that it can inject power into the bottom cell if it is current limiting the front-back circuit, enabling four-terminal performance in monolithic structures, regardless of which cell delivers less current.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Inst. for Solar Energy Research Hamelin, Emmerthal (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1475118
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-71601
Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2156-3381
Publisher:
IEEE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; absorption; photovoltaic cells; silicon; III-V semiconductor materials

Citation Formats

Schnabel, Manuel, Rienacker, Michael, Warren, Emily L., Geisz, John F., Peibst, Robby, Stradins, Paul, and Tamboli, Adele C. Equivalent Performance in Three-Terminal and Four-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2865175.
Schnabel, Manuel, Rienacker, Michael, Warren, Emily L., Geisz, John F., Peibst, Robby, Stradins, Paul, & Tamboli, Adele C. Equivalent Performance in Three-Terminal and Four-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells. United States. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2865175.
Schnabel, Manuel, Rienacker, Michael, Warren, Emily L., Geisz, John F., Peibst, Robby, Stradins, Paul, and Tamboli, Adele C. Wed . "Equivalent Performance in Three-Terminal and Four-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells". United States. doi:10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2865175. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1475118.
@article{osti_1475118,
title = {Equivalent Performance in Three-Terminal and Four-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells},
author = {Schnabel, Manuel and Rienacker, Michael and Warren, Emily L. and Geisz, John F. and Peibst, Robby and Stradins, Paul and Tamboli, Adele C.},
abstractNote = {Tandem or multijunction solar cells are a promising method to circumvent the efficiency limit of single-junction solar cells, but there is ongoing debate over how best to interconnect the subcells in a tandem cell. In addition to four-terminal and two-terminal tandem cell architectures, a new three-terminal tandem cell architecture has recently been demonstrated, which features a standard two-terminal (front-back) circuit as well as an interdigitated back contact (IBC) circuit connected to the bottom cell. It has no middle contacts, and thus, maintains some of the simplicity of a two-terminal tandem. In this study, we measure four-terminal GaInP//Si and GaInP/GaAs//Si tandem cells in four-terminal and three-terminal configurations by connecting wires to mimic a three-terminal architecture. We demonstrate that both modes allow the same efficiencies exceeding 30% to be attained. Furthermore, we show that the IBC circuit not only collects excess power from the bottom cell, but that it can inject power into the bottom cell if it is current limiting the front-back circuit, enabling four-terminal performance in monolithic structures, regardless of which cell delivers less current.},
doi = {10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2865175},
journal = {IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics},
number = 6,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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