Power loss mechanisms in small area monolithic-interconnected photovoltaic modules
Power loss mechanisms in small area monolithic-interconnected photovoltaic modules (MIM) are described and evaluated. Optical and electrical losses are quantified and individual loss components are derived for loss mechanisms of small area radial (radius = 1 mm) pie-shaped six-segment GaAs MIM laser power converter. At low monochromatic homogeneous illumination (Glow = 1.8 W/cm2, l0 = 809 nm) conversion efficiency of the cell, designed for a low irradiance, is reduced by 3.7%abs. due to isolation trench optical losses and by 7.0%abs. due to electrical losses (mainly perimeter recombination). Electrical losses in a device designed for a high irradiance, result in 18%abs. decrease of output power under homogeneous monochromatic illumination (Ghigh = 83.1 W/cm2, l0 = 809 nm), while 11.6%abs. losses are attributed to optical reasons. Regardless the irradiance level, optical losses further increase if the device is illuminated with a Gaussian instead of an ideal flattop beam profile. In this case, beam spillage losses occur and losses due to isolation trenches and reflections from metallization are elevated. On top of that, additional current mismatch losses occur, if individual MIM's segments are not equally illuminated. For the studied device, a 29 mm off center misalignment of a Gaussian shaped beam (with 1% spillage) reduces the short circuit current Isc by 10%abs. due to the current mismatch between segments.