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Published December 2019 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Simulation and partial prototyping of an eight‐junction holographic spectrum-splitting photovoltaic module


Spectrum‐splitting photovoltaics incorporate optical elements to separate sunlight into frequency bands, which can be targeted at solar cells with bandgaps optimized for each sub‐band. Here, we present the design of a holographic diffraction grating‐based spectrum‐splitting photovoltaic module integrating eight III‐V compound semiconductor cells as four dual‐junction tandems. Four stacks of simple sinusoidal volume phase holographic diffraction gratings each simultaneously split and concentrate sunlight onto cells with bandgaps spanning the solar spectrum. The high‐efficiency cells get an additional performance boost from concentration incorporated using a single or a compound trough concentrator, providing up to 380X total concentration. Cell bandgap optimization incorporated an experimentally derived bandgap‐dependent external radiative efficiency function. Simulations show 33.2% module conversion efficiency is achievable. One grating stack is experimentally fabricated and characterized.

Additional Information

© 2019 The Authors. Energy Science & Engineering published by the Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 17 December 2019; Version of Record online: 16 August 2019; Manuscript accepted: 24 July 2019; Manuscript revised: 21 July 2019; Manuscript received: 02 February 2019. The optical design was supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) "Light‐Material Interactions in Energy Conversion" Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DE‐SC0001293; the experimental work was supported by Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, DOE, under Award Number DE‐AR0000333; the work of ECW was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and DOE under NSF CA No. EEC‐1041895. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of NSF or DOE. The work of MDE and SD was supported by Dow Chemical Company. The authors would like to thank D. Speer at Wasatch Photonics for hologram fabrication and R. Synowicki at J. A. Woollam, W. Zhou and R. Feist of Dow Chemical Company, and C. A. Flowers and N. Batara for useful discussions.

Attached Files

Published - Darbe_et_al-2019-Energy_Science___Engineering.pdf

Supplemental Material - ese3445-sup-0001-supinfo.csv


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