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EEE 485

Renewable Energy

Basic Operating
Principle of Solar Cells
Md. Sajedul Islam
Lecturer, EEE, Uttara University

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Introduction
Solar Cells Application & types
Band Diagram & p-n Junction Solar Cells
n-type, p-type, Majority & Minority Carrier
Metal & Semiconductor Junction
Built-in Electric Field & EHP
Light Absorption in Solar Cell
Structure of Solar Cells
Equivalent Circuit of a Solar Cells
IV Curve of Solar cells
Solar Cell Output Parameter Voc, Jsc &
FF
Spectral Response
Summary Mahmud, EEE, 2
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Band Diagram, Electron & Hole
Conduction band Ec is separated from valance band by Eg

Intrinsic and doping: Donor (P), acceptor (B)


n-type, p-type, majority & minority carrier

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What is a Solar Cell?
A solar cell or photovoltaic cell is a device
which generates electricity directly from
visible light by means of the photovoltaic
effect. In order to generate useful power, it is
necessary to connect a number of cells
together to form a solar panel, also known as
a photovoltaic module. The nominal output
voltage of a solar panel is usually 12 Volts,
and they may be used singly or wired
together into an array. The number and size
required is determined by the available light
and the amount of energy required.
Basic Principle of Solar Cell
Solar Cell Operation:
A solar cell is an electronic device which directly
converts sunlight into electricity.
Light shining on the solar cell produces both a
current and a voltage to generate electric power.
This process requires firstly, a material in which
the absorption of light raises an electron to a higher
energy state, and secondly, the movement of this
higher energy electron from the solar cell into an
external circuit.
Basic Principle of Solar Cell

The electron then dissipates its energy in the external


circuit and returns to the solar cell.
A variety of materials and processes can potentially
satisfy the requirements for photovoltaic energy
conversion, but in practice nearly all photovoltaic energy
conversion uses semiconductor materials in the form of a
p-n junction.
Basic Principle of Solar Cell
Cross section of a solar
cell.
The basic steps in the
operation of a solar cell
are:
the generation of light-
generated carriers;
the collection of the light-
generated carries to
generate a current;
the generation of a large
voltage across the solar
cell; and
the dissipation of power
in the load and in
parasitic resistances.
Basic Principle of Solar Cell
These bent bands produce a built-in electric field (Vbi)
When a photon strikes, it may be reflected/absorbed/transmitted
If absorbed then EHP is generated
This is the origin of the photo current as shown in Figure

Vbi

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Light Absorption in Solar Cells (cont.)
Photons are: Transmitted, Reflected, Recombined, EHP
generated (if load is connected current flow)

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Light Absorption and Phonon

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Equivalent Circuit of a Solar Cell

R s I
Iph A

Id

Iph R p V R L

B
S o l a r cell Load

T h e e q u iv a le n t c ir c u it o f a s o la r c e ll
1 9 9 9 S . O . K a s a p , O p t o e l e c t ro nics(P ren tice H all)

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Electrical Model of a Solar Cells

A PV device can be
modeled as an ideal
diode in parallel with a
light-induced current
generator, ISC
I
D Rsh: Shunt
resistance, mainly due
to crystal imperfections

Rs: Series resistance,


arises from the bulk
conductivities of the
layers and from the
contacts

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Solar Cells I-V Characteristics
Three parameters are usually used to characterize solar cell
outputs:
1. Short circuit current, Isc
2. Open circuit voltage, Voc
3. The fill factor, FF

. Short circuit current, Isc


Isc = -IL Isc
J sc
A
A is area of the solar cells
Short circuit current density, Jsc

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Junction Characteristics
Dark Characteristics
Illuminated Characteristics

The total current I is:


qV
d I o[ e kT
1]

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Solar cell output parameters
In short circuit condition (V=0) all the currents
pass
through the short circuit
In open circuit condition when I =0 all the
light generated current pass through the
diode

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Solar cell output parameter, Voc

Open circuit voltage:

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Solar cell output parameter, FF
Fill factor ~
0.8

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Solar Cells Efficiency

Efficiency, = Pmax/Pin =

FF V o c I sc
P in
100%

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Confirmed Terrestrial Cell Efficiency

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Summary
The operation of Solar Cells discussed how photon
produces electric current
In cell when light is absorbed Built-in Electric
Field (Vbi) & EHP
How Light is Absorbed & mobile charge are
separated by Vbi at junction
Structure of Solar Cell and Equivalent Circuit of
a
Solar Cell
The electrical output from the cell is described by
the IV Curve whose property are linked with
material property
Solar Cell Output Parameter
discussed Voc, Jsc, FF & Pmax
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