Upconversion Solar Cell Measurements Under Real Sunlight
The main losses in solar cells result from the incomplete utilization of the solar spectrum. Via the addition of an upconverting layer to the rear side of a solar cell, the otherwise-unused sub-bandgap photons can be utilized. In this paper, we demonstrate an efficiency enhancement of a silicon solar cell under real sunlight due to upconversion of sub-bandgap photons. Sunlight was concentrated geometrically with a lens with a factor of up to 50 suns onto upconverter silicon solar cell devices. The upconverter solar cell devices (UCSCDs) were also measured indoors using a solar simulator. To correct for differences in the spectral distribution between real sunlight and the solar simulator a spectral mismatch correction is required and is especially important to properly predict the performance when a non-linear response (e.g. upconversion) is involved. By applying a spectral mismatch correction, good agreement between the solar simulator measurements and the outdoor measurements using real sunlight was achieved. The method was tested on two different upconverter powders, v-NaYF4: 25% Er3+ and Gd2O2S: 10% Er3+, which were both embedded in a polymer. We determined additional photocurrents due to upconversion of 9.4 mA/cm2 with v-NaYF4 and 8.2 mA/cm2 with Gd2O2S under 94-suns concentration. Our results show i) the applicability of measurements using standard solar cell characterization equipment for predicting the performance of non-linear solar devices, and ii) underline the importance of applying proper mismatch corrections for accurate prediction of the performance of such non-linear devices.