Solar Energy

Absorption Enhancement in Thin-Film Polycrystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic Modules (PhD thesis, 1996)

University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)

Thank you to the Royal Society, UK, for the Rutherford Scholarship that supported me to do this PhD (during which I sat next to the "Sun King" in the PV Centre led by Professor Martin Green), and to the Australian Research Council for my subsequent fellowship award (which ironically was approved by Tony Abbott before he went on to develop a pathological hatred of renewable energy!).

Here is a list of my publications up to Sep. 1998 (when I left the field).  Some of them, including my Ph.D and modelling programs, can be accessed via the links below.

More recently (2018-) I rebooted my ray-tracing programs to look at some new textures for roof-integrated modules - results to come...

Following is a brief summary of my Ph.D research (a career path I decided to follow when still at school in the 1980s, because I was concerned about the little-recognised greenhouse effect already predicted then - accurately as it turned out):

Since doing my PhD, the solar industry has developed to the point where conventional crystalline-silicon solar cell technology has reached such low costs and high efficiencies that I no longer think the "conformal film textures" I modelled would enable thin-film polycrystalline-silicon solar cells to become commercially viable, but these textures could potentially improve the performance of thin-film versions of rapidly-improving perovskite-silicon tandem cells (which are already using micro-textured substrates in low-cost manufacturing), or maybe even triple-junction thin-film cells like perovskite—silicon—silicon-germanium.

Publications and ray-tracing software

Low shading-loss contacting scheme: