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Course Title

EEE-409
Photovoltaic System Design
Themes, Historical prospective, Fundamentals of photoelectrochemistry,
Fundamentals and applications in electron-transfer reactions, Experimental
techniques in photoelectrochemistry,
Different solar cells: Si-based Solar cells, extremely thin absorber (ETA)
cells, Organic donor-acceptor heterojunction solar cells, Dye-sensitized
mesoscopic solar cells, semiconductor/ liquid junction solar cells, Photoelectrochemical storage cells, and
Design the domestic solar cell.

What do you mean by Photovoltaic?


Photovoltaic (or PV) systems convert light energy into electricity. The term "photo"
is a stem from the Greek "phos," which means "light." "Volt" is named for Alessandro
Volta (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity. Photovoltaic's literally means
light-electricity.
Photovoltaics (abbreviated PV) is the most direct way to convert solar radiation into
electricity and is based on the photovoltaic effect, which was first observed by Henri
Becquerel [1] in 1839.
It is quite generally defined as the
emergence of an electric voltage
between two electrodes attached to a
solid or liquid system upon shining
light onto this system.
It is quite generally defined as the emergence of an electric voltage between two
electrodes attached to a solid or liquid system upon shining light onto this system.
Practically all photovoltaic devices incorporate a pn junction in a semiconductor across
which the photovoltage is developed. These devices are also known as solar cells.

What is a Solar Cell?


It is also known as Photovoltaic cell (PV cell)
A device that converts light energy (solar energy) directly to electricity.
The term solar cell is designated to capture energy from sunlight,
whereas PV cell is referred to an unspecified light source.
It is like a battery because it supplies DC power.
It is not like a battery because the voltage supplied by the cell changes
with changes in the resistance of the load.

Made from a single


crystalline silicon wafer

Solar Cell and Photoelectric


Effect
h

1.

Light absorption

2.

Generation of free charges

3.

effective separation of the


charges

Result: wearless generation of electrical Power


by light absorption
4

energy-states in solids:
Band-Pattern

Molecule/Solid

energy-states

Atom

energy-states in solids:
Insulator
electron-energy
conduction-band

Fermilevel EF

bandgap EG
(> 5 eV)

valence-band

Terms:
Fermilevel EF: limit between occupied and non occupied
energy-states at T = 0 K (absolute zero)
valence-band: completely occupied energy-band just below the Ferminiveau at T = 0 K, the
electrons are fixed (tightly bound)
inside the atomic structure
conduction-band:

energy-band just above the valence-band,


the electrons can move freely

bandgap EG:

distance between valance-band and


conduction band

energy-states in solids :
metal / conductor
electron-energy

Fermilevel EF

conduction-band
8

energy-states in solids:
semiconductor
electron-energy
conduction-band

Fermilevel EF

bandgap EG
( 0,5 2 eV)

valence-band

Electron-Energy
At T=0 (absolute zero of temperature) the electrons occupy the lowest possible
energy-states. They can now gain energy in two ways:
Thermal Energy: kT (k = Boltzmanns Constant, 1.381x10 -23 J/K, T
= absolute temperature in Kelvin)
Light quantum absorption: h (h = Plancks Constant, h = 6.626x10-34 Js,
= frequency of the light quantum in s-1).
If the energy absorbed by the electron exceeds that of the band gap, they can
leave the valence-band and enter the conduction-band:

10

Energy-states in solids:
energy absorption and emission
electron-energy
conduction-band

EF

xh

h
+

x+

Generation

Recombination

valence-band

11

Energy-states in semiconductors
physical properties:

Thermal viewpoint: The larger the bandgap the


lower is the conductivity. Increasing temperature
reduces the electrical resistance (NTC, negative
temperature coefficient resistor)
Optical viewpoint: the larger the bandgap the
lower is the absorption of light quantums.
Increasing light irradiation decreases the
electrical resistance (Photoresistor)

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Doping of semiconductors
In order to avoid recombination of photo-induced charges and to extract
their energy to an electric-device we need a kind of internal barrier. This can
be achieved by doping of semiconductors:

Doping means in this case the replacement of


original atoms of the semiconductor-material (e.g. Si)
by different ones (with slightly different electron
configuration). Semiconductors like Silicon have four
covalent electrons, doping is done e.g. with Boron or
Phosphorus:

IIIB IVB VB
5

B
14

15

Si

13

N - Doping
energy-band view

crystal view

conduction-band

Si

Si
-

Si
-

Si

Si
P

Si

Si

Si

Si

n-conducting Silicon

EF

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

majority carriers
donator level

valence-band

14

P - Doping
energy-band view

crystal

conduction band

Si

Si

Si

Si

B
Si

Si

Si

Si

EF

B-

B-

B-

B-

B-

acceptor level
majority carriers

Si

p-conducting Silicon

valence-band

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p/n-junction without light


Band pattern view

depletion-zone
Diffusion
Ud

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

B-

B-

B-

B-

B-

EF

Diffusion
+

n type region

Ed

p type region

internal electrical field

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Irradiated p/n-junction
band pattern view (absorption p-zone)
depletion-zone

E = h

photocurrent
Ud

P+

P+

P+

P+

P+

B-

B-

B-

B-

B-

ntype region

Ed

ptype region

Internal electrical field

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EF

p/njunction without irradiation


(semiconductor diode)
crystal view
+ + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + + + + + + + + + +
p-silicon

+
+-

diffusion

-+
---+
+
-+
-+
-

+
-+
+
+
-

+
+
+
+
-

+
+
+
+
-

++
++
-

++++
-

++++
-

++++
-

++++
-

++++
-

++++
-

+
+
+-

E electrical field

n-silicon

- - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - -

depletion zone

18

p/njunction with irradiation


crystal view

h
++ + + + + + + + + + + +
+ + + ++ + + + + + + + +
p-silicon
+ + + + + + + + + + + +

diffusion

drift
-

-+ -+ +
- +
-- +
+
- +
- +
- - - - -- - -

+
- +- +- +- +- +- +- +
+- +- +- +- +- +- +- +-

E electrical field

- - - - - - - n-silicon

- - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - -

depletion zone

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Charge carrier separation within


p/njunction
Diffusion:
from zones of high carrier concentration to zones of low carrier concentration
(following a gradient of electrochemical potential)

Drift:
driven by an electrostatic field established across the device

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How Solar cells work


Function 1: Photogeneration of charge
carriers (electrons and holes) in a lightabsorbing material
Function 2: Separation of the charge
carriers to a conductive medium such as a
metal contact or a wire in order to transmit
the electricity
It supplies a voltage and a current to a resistive
load (light, battery, motor).
Power = Current x Voltage

3.

4.

5.

1. A solar cell is a sandwich of ntype silicon (blue) and p-type


silicon (red).
2. When sunlight shines on the
cell, photons (light particles)
bombard the upper surface.

6.

The photons (yellow


dot) carry their energy
down through the cell.
The photons give up
their energy to
electrons (green dot) in
the lower, p-type layer.
The electrons use this
energy to jump across
the barrier into the
upper, n-type layer and
escape out into the
circuit.
Flowing around the
circuit, the electrons
make the lamp light up.

Solar Cell Properties


Open circuit voltage (VOC)
Short circuit current (ISC)
Maximum power
Efficiency

Factors affecting Solar Cell Performance

Light intensity (type of light)


Light wavelength (color of light)
Angle of incident light
Surface condition of solar cells (cleanness)
Temperature on solar cells

Peak Power Point (Maximum


Power)

A solar cell may operate over a wide range of


voltages (V) and currents (I). By increasing the
resistive load on an irradiated cell continuously
from zero (a short circuit) to a very high value (an
open circuit) one can determine the maximumpower point, the point that maximizes VI, that is,
the load for which the cell can deliver maximum
electrical power at that level of irradiation.
Dynamically adjust the load so the maximum
power is always transferred, regardless of the
variation in lighting.

Efficiency
A solar cell's energy conversion efficiency
(, "eta"), is the percentage of power
converted (from absorbed light to electrical
energy) and collected, when a solar cell is
connected to an electrical circuit. This term
is calculated using the ratio of Pm, divided
by the input light irradiance under
"standard" test conditions (E, in W/m) and
the surface area of the solar cell (Ac in m).

Pm

E x Ac

I-V Curv e "scie nce shop" single ce ll, A= 10cm^2, V


=0.5 Voltage at le v e l 10.5 of Haloge n light source
0

100

V (m Volt)
200
300

0.00
-0.20
-0.40

J ( m A /c m 2 )

-0.60
-0.80

Pmax = 471.2 W/cm^2


Jmax = 1.366 mA per cm^2

-1.00
-1.20
-1.40
-1.60
-1.80

I max = 16.27 mA

400

500

600

Solar Cell Process Flow


Start with n-type silicon wafers
Cleaning the wafers
Sulfuric: peroxide - removes organics
Buffered Hydrofluoric acid - removes residual oxide
HCl: peroxide - removes heavy metals

Spin on dopant: a liquid source of boron (p-type


impurity)
Anneal: 1000oC furnace step drives B into wafer
(forming diode).

Solar Cell Process Flow


Metallization: Aluminum deposited on the front and
backside of the wafer.
Patterning: Resist is spun on the front and back sides
of the wafer and exposed using a mask and UV light.
The exposed resist is removed during developing.
Metal Etch: The pattern from the mask is transferred
to the metal using a wet metal etch. The remaining
photoresist is then removed.
Metal Anneal: The wafer is annealed at 400C to
improve the conductivity of the metal.

Current Obstacles
Efficiency vs. cost
Solar cell efficiencies vary from 6% for amorphous siliconbased solar cells to 42.8% with multiple-junction research
lab cells. Solar cell energy conversion efficiencies for
commercially available multicrystalline Si solar cells are
around 14-16%. The highest efficiency cells have not
always been the most economical for example a 30%
efficient multijunction cell based on exotic materials such
as gallium arsenide or indium selenide and produced in low
volume might well cost one hundred times as much as an
8% efficient amorphous silicon cell in mass production,
while only delivering about four times the electrica l power.

Future Developments
The first generation photovoltaic, consists of a
large-area, single layer p-n junction diode, which
is capable of generating usable electrical energy
from light sources with the wavelengths of
sunlight. These cells are typically made using a
silicon wafer.
The second generation of photovoltaic materials
is based on the use of thin-film deposits of
semiconductors. These devices were initially
designed to be high-efficiency, multiple junction
photovoltaic cells.

Third generation photovoltaics are very different from the


previous semiconductor devices as they do not rely on a
traditional p-n junction to separate photogenerated charge
carriers. These new devices include photoelectrochemical cells,
polymer solar cells, and nanocrystal solar cells. Dye-sensitized
solar cells are now in production. Examples include Amorphous
silicon, Polycrystalline silicon, micro-crystalline silicon, Cadmium
telluride, copper indium selenide/sulfide.
Fourth generation Composite photovoltaic technology with the
use of polymers with nano particles can be mixed together to
make a single multispectrum layer. Then the thin multi spectrum
layers can be stacked to make multispectrum solar cells more
efficient and cheaper based on polymer solar cell and multi
junction technology used by NASA on Mars missions .

A solar cell is designated to


capture energy from:
Review
Question
1
A. Sunlight
B. White light
C. Incandescent light
D. Halogen light
E. All of the above

A P-type semiconductor is a
________ carrier?
Review
Question
2
A. Photon
B. Electron
C. Hole
D. Ion
E.None of the above

Review Question 3
Which of the following is
NOT a property of a solar cell?
A. Open circuit voltage (VOC)
B. Short circuit current (ISC)
C. Resistor in the circuit
D. Maximum power
E. Efficiency

Review Question 4
Which of the following will
impair a solar cells performance?

A. Size of the cell


B. A water stain
C. Shape of the cell
D. All of the above
E. None of the above

Review Question 5
What is the challenge in
solar cell development?
A. Cost
B. Maximum power
C. Efficiency
D. New thin film material
E. All of the above

The real Silicon Solar-cell


Front-contact
-

Antireflection- h
coating

n-region
p-region

~0,2m

+ + + + + + + + + +

- - - - - - - - - -

~300m
depletion zone
Backside contact
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