Solar Cells and Their Applications
Lewis M. Fraas & Larry D. Partain
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A major update of solar cell technology and the solar marketplace
Since the first publication of this important volume over a decade ago, dramatic changes have taken place with the solar market growing almost 100-fold and the U.S. moving from first to fourth place in the world market as analyzed in this Second Edition. Three bold new opportunities are identified for any countries wanting to improve market position. The first is combining pin solar cells with 3X concentration to achieve economic competitiveness near term. The second is charging battery-powered cars with solar cell–generated electricity from arrays in surrounding areas—including the car owners' homes—while simultaneously reducing their home electricity bills by over ninety percent. The third is formation of economic "unions" of sufficient combined economic size to be major competitors.
In this updated edition, feed-in tariffs are identified as the most effective approach for public policy. Reasons are provided to explain why pin solar cells outperform more traditional pn solar cells. Field test data are reported for nineteen percent pin solar cells and for ~500X concentrating systems with bare cell efficiencies approaching forty percent. Paths to bare cell efficiencies over fifty percent are described, and key missing program elements are identified. Since government support is needed for new technology prototype integration and qualification testing before manufacturing scale up, the key economic measure is identified in this volume as the electricity cost in cents per kilowatt-hour at the complete installed system level, rather than just the up-front solar cell modules' costs in dollars per watt.
This Second Edition will benefit technologists in the fields of solar cells and systems; solar cell researchers; power systems designers; academics studying microelectronics, semiconductors, and solar cells; business students and investors with a technical focus; and government and political officials developing public policy.