Solar absorption enhancement in PV modules

PhD thesis: Absorption Enhancement in Thin-Film Polycrystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic Modules (1996)
University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
with thanks 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!).
Attached is a list of my publications up to Sep. 1998 (when I left the field).  Recently (2018) I have 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):
  • Modelling of anti-reflection and light-trapping properties of thin silicon films deposited "conformally" on macro-textured substates (with texture size or "period" > film thickness).
  • Uses ray-tracing of average year-round illumination and includes anti-reflection coatings for the top glass surface as well as the silicon-encapsulation surface (and a rear cell reflector).
  • The anti-reflection and light trapping properties are superior to that calculated for a realistic micro-texture, which is modelled using a new kind of ray-tracing program.
  • A low shading-loss contacting scheme for thin-film (or conventional wafer) silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) modules is also proposed.
  • Conclusions:
    • Conformal films on small-sized inverted tetrahedra (triangular based pyramids with dimensions of around 10-50 microns for a film thickness of 1-3 microns) can produce light trapping that is better than a fully randomising "lambertian" scheme, even under isotropic illumination (which was previously considered to be a theoretical limit).
    • From a practical perspective, the best texture is probably "perpendicular grooves", consisting of conformal silicon films on macro-sized grooves oriented perpendicular to North-South grooves on the top glass/encapsulation surface (running downhill to assist rain cleaning), along with an additional mild micro-texture on the front or rear silicon surface.  This offers lower series resistance for current flowing along the silicon grooves towards contacts, compared to a 3D texture.
Related papers are also attached below.

  
         
                                         
                                                                                                                             

Light trapping with conformal thin films on inverted tetrahedra        




Low shading-loss contacting scheme:
        





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David Thorp,
8 Feb 2019, 19:39
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David Thorp,
2 Aug 2018, 02:06
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David Thorp,
2 Aug 2018, 00:25
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David Thorp,
30 Jul 2018, 06:40
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David Thorp,
30 Jul 2018, 06:47
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PhD in Word chapters.zip
(1463k)
David Thorp,
30 Jul 2018, 06:46
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PhD pdf.zip
(2049k)
David Thorp,
30 Jul 2018, 06:46
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David Thorp,
5 Jun 2018, 05:02
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pascal ray tracing programs.zip
(238k)
David Thorp,
30 Jul 2018, 06:46
Ċ
David Thorp,
30 Jul 2018, 06:40
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