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High Efficiency Solar to Electric Energy Conversion through Spectrum Splitting and Multi-channel Full Spectrum Harvesting

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 February 2013

Lirong Zeng Broderick
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, 02139
Tiejun Zhang
Affiliation:
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Marco Stefancich
Affiliation:
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Brian R. Albert
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, 02139
Evelyn Wang
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, 02139
Gang Chen
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, 02139
Peter Armstrong
Affiliation:
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Matteo Chiesa
Affiliation:
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Lionel Kimerling
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, 02139
Jurgen Michel
Affiliation:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, 02139
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Abstract

A system combining photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal approaches is designed to convert solar energy to electricity with high efficiency across the full solar spectrum. Concentrated solar spectrum is split into two parts: PV and thermal. The PV part of the spectrum is further split into several subbands directed to bandgap appropriate solar cells on an inexpensive Si substrate. Epitaxial Ge on Si is used as a virtual substrate for III-V semiconductor growth. At long and very short wavelengths where PV efficiency is low, solar radiation is directed to a high temperature thermal storage tank for electricity generation using heat engines. The potential of using PV waste heat due to thermalization of high energy photoelectrons for electricity generation is also investigated. Detailed optical and thermal analysis show that with optimized design and neglecting optical component loss, system power conversion efficiency can reach 56%, including more than 16% absolute contribution from thermal storage.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013 

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References

REFERENCES

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Zhang, Tiejun and Wang, Evelyn N., 13th IEEE ITHERM Conference, 993 (2012).

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