Computational analysis of temperature effects on solar cell efficiency

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As known, the properties of semiconductor materials are strongly temperature dependent. Thus, the performance of semiconductor based devices is also temperature dependent. In this work, the effects of the operational temperature on the efficiencies of various solar cell materials are analyzed, where the assumed temperature ranges between 300 and 350K to resemble realistic operational temperatures. The temperature effects are included explicitly in the input empirical parameters and implicitly in the governing physics. The used materials in the analysis are Si, GaAs, and CdTe. The efficiencies of the simulated cells decrease with the temperature, but at different rates. For the Si cells, the conversion efficiency drops from 25.58% at 300K to 21.11% at 350K, for GaAS cells from 28.80 to 25.45%, and for CdTe from 21.03 to 19.71%. The calculated absolute efficiency loss rates: - d η/ d T (K - 1) are 0.0892, 0.0670, and 0.0264 for Si, GaAs, and CdTe cells, respectively. Quantitatively, CdTe cells are less affected by temperature change compared to Si and GaAs cells, but, within the used temperature range, still Si and GaAs cells are more efficient than CdTe. In the estimated rate, CdTe cells would be more efficient than Si cells only above 372K.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-786
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Computational Electronics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017



  • Solar cells
  • Solar cells simulations
  • Temperature-dependent effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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