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Designing of amorphous silicon solar cells for optimal photovoltaic performance

Pericherla, Latchiraju (2013). Designing of amorphous silicon solar cells for optimal photovoltaic performance. Master Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

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Author Pericherla, Latchiraju
Title Designing of amorphous silicon solar cells for optimal photovoltaic performance
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2013
Thesis Type Master
Subjects 0906 - Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Abstract Amorphous silicon solar cells are fabricated from thin layers of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:-H) deposited on a substrate. The process of fabrication is much more economical than that of crystalline silicon solar cells (C-Si). Recent studies indicate even further cost reduction potential compared to the crystalline silicon technology. First commercially available thin-film solar cells based on a-Si:-H was produced for consumer applications such as pocket calculators and solar watches. In 1976, Carlson and Wronski developed the first a-Si: H solar cell with efficiency 2-3%. Later on efficiency is increased to 13.1%. Now a-Si:-H solar modules have entered to the market for power generation applications. Several manufacturing companies (Sanyo, BP Solar, Fuji Electric) with multi-megawatt capacity have started producing a-Si: H panels which are currently being installed. The performance of hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cell (a-Si: H) depends on its layer characteristics. It is important to understand the optimal structure, thicknesses of each layer and their function in the cell to design a cost effective, stable and efficient hydrogenated amorphous a-Si: H silicon solar cell. In solar cells the photovoltaic performance can be enhanced by increasing the absorbance in some layer and reducing it in others. To achieve the same in a-Si: H solar cell absorbance should be maximised in i-layer and minimised in other layers. Reflectance, transmittance and absorbance are calculated by using (SETFOS). In this project, semiconductor thin film optics simulation software (SETFOS) is used to design a single junction (p-i-n) hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cell (a-Si: H). Optimisation of absorbance of i-layer and optimal efficiency is achieved by using a software (SETFOS). The efforts on increasing the absorbance in i-layer can be made by optimising it with respect to the thickness of i-layer.
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