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

Eisler, Carissa N. and Flowers, Cristofer A. and Warmann, Emily C. and Lloyd, John V. and Espinet-González, Pilar and Darbe, Sunita and Dee, Michelle S. and Escarra, Matthew D. and Kosten, Emily D. and Zhou, Weijun and Atwater, Harry A. (2019) The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh (>50%) Solar Module Efficiencies. IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 9 (1). pp. 174-182. ISSN 2156-3381. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20181011-134846480

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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%).


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2872109DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Eisler, Carissa N.0000-0002-5755-5280
Flowers, Cristofer A.0000-0001-7864-3629
Warmann, Emily C.0000-0002-2810-4608
Espinet-González, Pilar0000-0002-7656-0077
Darbe, Sunita0000-0002-8099-1814
Escarra, Matthew D.0000-0002-0232-942X
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2018 IEEE. Manuscript received May 23, 2018; revised August 17, 2018; accepted September 19, 2018. Date of publication October 8, 2018; date of current version December 21, 2018. This work was supported in part by the Department of Energy “Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion” Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DE-SC0001293, in part by the Dow Chemical Company through the Full Spectrum Project, and in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000333. The authors would like to thank Dr. R. Pala for his guidance in setting up the optical characterization. Optical design was supported by a partnership between the DOE “Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion” Energy Frontier Research Center under Grant DE-SC0001293 and the Dow Chemical Company through the Full Spectrum Project. Bandgap selection and electrical design was supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000333. C.N.E. was supported by the Department of Defense through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program. C.A.F. was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE1144469.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0001293
Dow Chemical CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AR0000333
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Subject Keywords:Concentrating, dichroic filter, high efficiency, photovoltaics, spectrum splitting
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181011-134846480
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20181011-134846480
Official Citation:C. N. Eisler et al., "The Polyhedral Specular Reflector: A Spectrum-Splitting Multijunction Design to Achieve Ultrahigh ( >50%) Solar Module Efficiencies," in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 174-182, Jan. 2019. doi: 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2872109
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90254
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Oct 2018 12:39
Last Modified:26 Nov 2019 19:35

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