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Title: Design of cascaded low cost solar cell with CuO substrate

For many years the main focus of R and D in solar cells was the development of high-efficiency solar convertors. However with solar technology beginning to be a part of national grids and stand-alone power supplies for variety of individual customers, the emphasis has changed, namely, the cost per kilowatt- hour (kW-hr) started to be an important figure of merit. Although Si does dominate the market of solar convertors, this material has total cost of kilowatt-hour much higher than what the power grid is providing presently to customers. It is well known that the cost of raw semiconductor material is a major factor in formulation of the final cost of a solar cell. That motivated us to search and design a novel solar cell using cheap materials. The new p-i-n solar cell consists of hetero-structure cascade of materials with step by step decreasing energy gap. Since the lattice constant of these three materials do differ not more than 2%, the more expensive epitaxial fabrication methods can be used as well. It should be emphasized that designed solar cell is not a cascade of three solar cells connected in series. Our market study shows that Si solar panel which costs $$250–400 / m{sup 2} leads to a cost of $$0.12–0.30 / kW-hr. To the contrary, CuO based solar cells with Cadmium compounds on top, would cost $$100 / m{sup 2}. This will allow the novel solar cell to produce electricity at a cost of $$0.06–0.08 / kW-hr.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Advanced Electronic Technology Center, ECE Dept., University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA-01851 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22261920
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1566; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: ICPS 2012: 31. international conference on the physics of semiconductors, Zurich (Switzerland), 29 Jul - 3 Aug 2012; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; CADMIUM COMPOUNDS; COPPER OXIDES; EFFICIENCY; LATTICE PARAMETERS; SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS; SOLAR CELLS; SUBSTRATES