Design, Study and Optimization of Full-spectrum Multi-receiver Photovoltaic Systems

  • Alaeddine Mokri

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

For solar power to achieve grid parity, higher efficiency solar cells are needed in the market to meet the LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) needs. One approach for designing high-efficiency photovoltaic devices is to stack several solar cells monolithically and concentrate sunlight on them. Currently, 21 MW is generated worldwide from this type of solar cells. The installation cost of the power plants using this technology is $4.84/W and 17% of this cost is attributed to the solar cell. Also, these multi-junction solar cells have lattice-matching and current-matching constrains. In addition to this, the multi-junction solar cells being used consist of a stack of three sub-cells only, and currently, there is a need for solar cells made of four or more sub-cells in order to further increase the efficiency. In this work, we propose a concentrating photovoltaic system that enables the operation of up to four cells with no lattice-matching or current-matching constrains. The system proposed has beam-splitting features to avoid stacking the cells together. This will result in reducing the installation cost. The system is designed to incorporate two, three or four PV cells made of the following materials: AlGaAs, GaAs, InP, Si, InGaAsP, InGaAs and Ge. The main objective of this study is to investigate the following effects on the response of the system: the number of solar cells used, the bandgap combination, the concentration ratio and the optical losses. We also compare the system designed with the conventional multi-junction devices, and show that our design is also relevant for other applications such as solar thermophotovoltaics and solar-powered hydrogen production.
Date of Award2011
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahieddine Emziane (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Spectrum
  • Solar
  • Specular Reflectance

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