M.C. and R.B.C. acknowledge the support of the U.S. Department of Energy through grant DE-EE0008168. R.V. is thankful to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah for hosting him in 2016 and 2017, and the Instituto de Energía Solar at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid for hosting him in 2018.
Solar cells -- Materials
To improve the performance of solar photovoltaic devices one should mitigate three types of losses: optical, electrical and thermal. However, further reducing the optical and electrical losses in modern photovoltaic devices is becoming increasingly costly. Therefore, there is a rising interest in minimizing the thermal losses. These correspond to the reduction in electrical power output resultant of working at temperatures above 25 °C and the associated accelerated aging. Here, we quantify the impact of all possible strategies to mitigate thermal losses in the case of the mainstream crystalline silicon technology. Results indicate that ensuring a minimum level of conductive/convective cooling capabilities is essential. We show that sub-bandgap reflection and radiative cooling are strategies worth pursuing and recommend further field testing in real-time operating conditions. The general method we propose is suitable for every photovoltaic technology to guide the research focused on reducing thermal losses.
Locate the Document
Vaillon, R., Dupré, O., Cal, R. B., & Calaf, M. (2018). Pathways for mitigating thermal losses in solar photovoltaics. Scientific reports, 8(1), 13163.