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Comprehensive simulation study of industrially relevant silicon solar cell architectures for an optimal material parameter choice

: Steinkemper, H.; Hermle, M.; Glunz, S.W.


Progress in Photovoltaics 24 (2016), No.10, pp.1319-1331
ISSN: 1062-7995
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Solarzellen - Entwicklung und Charakterisierung; Photovoltaik; Silicium-Photovoltaik; Charakterisierung von Prozess- und Silicium-Materialien; Herstellung und Analyse von hocheffizienten Solarzellen; simulation; solar cell

Solar cell production always requires a tradeoff between cell efficiency and production costs. This also concerns the choice of the silicon base material. In general, a long base lifetime is beneficial to achieve high conversion efficiency, but it strongly depends on the cell concept to which extent the cell performance is improved and whether a payback of the higher material costs can be expected. Therefore, in this comprehensive simulation study of various industrially relevant solar cell architectures, we present an investigation of the influence of the bulk lifetime and the resistivity of the base material on the cell performance. A consistent set of cell and simulation parameters is chosen to allow for a direct quantitative comparison of the different cell types. The parameters were chosen rather conservatively in order to describe realistic industrial cells and not record laboratory cells. The observed trends are analyzed using detailed loss breakdowns and are compared with experimental results. For various cell concepts, critical lifetimes τcrit can be observed for which the optimal material parameters change with increasing bulk lifetime when comparing materials of different base resistivity. The underlying physical reasons are explained in detail to accomplish two major aims: (i) generating a better understanding of limitations and challenges concerning different solar cell concepts and (ii) serving as a guide for an optimal material parameter choice for different cell architectures.