Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics

Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics

Fundamentals and Applications

2nd Edition - October 3, 2011

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  • Editors: Augustin McEvoy, Tom Markvart, Luis Castaner
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123859358

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As part of the growing sustainable and renewable energy movement, the design, manufacture and use of photovoltaic devices is increasing in pace and frequency. The Handbook of Photovoltaics will be a 'benchmark' publication for those involved in the design, manufacture and use of these devices. The Handbook covers the principles of solar cell function, the raw materials, photovoltaic systems, standards, calibration, testing, economics and case studies. The editors have assembled a cast of internationally-respected contributors from industry and academia. The report is essential reading for: Physicists, electronic engineers, designers of systems, installers, architects, policy-makers relating to photovoltaics.

Key Features

  • A thorough update to the 'benchmark' publication from a cast of industrial and academic international experts ensures top quality information from multiple stakeholder perspectives
  • Covers all things PV- from principles of solar cells and their raw materials, to the installation and design of full PV systems, including standards, testing, economics and environmental impacts
  • Case studies, practical examples and reports on the latest advances take the new edition of this amazing resource beyond a vast collection of knowledge, into the realm of real world applications


Physicists, electronic engineers, designers of systems, installers, architects, policy-makers relating to photovoltaics

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the Second Edition

    Preface to the First Edition

    List of Contributors


    Chapter IA-1. Principles of Solar Cell Operation

    1. Introduction

    2. Electrical Characteristics

    3. Optical Properties

    4. Typical Solar Cell Structures

    Chapter IA-2. Semiconductor Materials and Modelling

    1. Introduction

    2. Semiconductor Band Structure

    3. Carrier Statistics in Semiconductors

    4. The Transport Equations

    5. Carrier Mobility

    6. Carrier Generation by Optical Absorption

    7. Recombination

    8. Radiation Damage

    9. Heavy Doping Effects

    10. Properties of Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon

    Chapter IA-3. Ideal Efficiencies

    1. Introduction

    2. Thermodynamic Efficiencies

    3. Efficiencies in Terms of Energies

    4. Efficiencies Using the Shockley Solar Cell Equation

    5. General Comments on Efficiencies

    Chapter IB-1. Crystalline Silicon

    1. Introduction

    2. Characteristics of Silicon Wafers for Use in PV Manufacturing

    3. Feedstock Silicon

    4. Crystal-Preparation Methods

    5. Shaping and Wafering

    Chapter IB-2. High-Efficiency Silicon Solar Cell Concepts

    1. Introduction

    2. High-Efficiency Laboratory Cells

    3. Screen-Printed Cells

    4. Laser-Processed Cells

    5. HIT Cell

    6. Rear-Contacted Cells

    7. Conclusions

    Chapter IB-3. Low-Cost Industrial Technologies for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Cell Processing

    3. Industrial Solar Cell Technologies

    4. Cost of Commercial Photovoltaic Modules

    Chapter IB-4. Thin Silicon Solar Cells

    1. Introduction, Background, and Scope of Review

    2. Light Trapping in Thin Silicon Solar Cells

    3. Voltage Enhancements in Thin Silicon Solar Cells

    4. Silicon Deposition and Crystal Growth for Thin Solar Cells

    5. Thin Silicon Solar Cells Based on Substrate Thinning

    6. Summary of Device Results

    Chapter IC-1. Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon (a-Si:H) Layers

    3. Hydrogenated Microcrystalline Silicon (µc-si:h) Layers

    4. Functioning of Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells with p–i–n and n–i–p Structures

    5. Tandem and Multijunction Solar Cells

    6. Module Production and Performance

    7. Conclusions

    Chapter IC-2. CdTe Thin-Film PV Modules

    1. Introduction

    2. Steps for Making Thin-Film CdTe Solar Cells

    3. Making of Integrated Modules

    4. Production of CdTe Thin-Film Modules

    5. The Product and Its Application

    6. The Future

    Chapter IC-3. Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin-Film Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Material Properties

    3. Cell and Module Technology

    4. Device Physics

    5. Wide-Gap Chalcopyrites

    6. Conclusions

    Chapter IC-4. Progress in Chalcopyrite Compound Semiconductor Research for Photovoltaic Applications and Transfer of Results into Actual Solar Cell Production

    1. Introduction

    2. Research Directions

    3. Industrialisation

    4. Conclusions and Outlook

    Chapter ID-1. GaAs and High-Efficiency Space Cells

    1. Historical Review of III–V Solar Cells

    2. Single-Junction III–V Space Solar Cells

    3. Multijunction Space Solar Cells

    Chapter ID-2. High-Efficiency III–V Multijunction Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Special Aspects of III–V Multijunction Solar Cells

    3. III–V Solar Cell Concepts

    4. Conclusions

    Chapter ID-3. High-Efficiency Back-Contact Silicon Solar Cells for One-Sun and Concentrator Applications

    1. Introduction

    2. Concentrator Applications of IBC Solar Cells

    3. Back-Contact Silicon Solar Cells

    4. Modelling of Back-Contact Solar Cells

    5. Perimeter and Edge Recombination

    6. Manufacturing Process for Back-Contact Solar Cells

    7. Stability of Back-Contact Cells

    8. Toward 30% Efficiency Silicon Cells

    9. How to Improve the Efficiency of Back-Contact Solar Cells

    10. Conclusions

    Chapter IE-1. Dye-Sensitized Photoelectrochemical Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Photoelectrochemical Cells

    3. Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

    4. Future Outlook

    Chapter IE-2. Organic Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Organic Electronic Materials

    3. Principles of Device Operation

    4. Optimising Solar Cell Performance

    5. Production Issues

    6. Conclusions

    Chapter IIA-1. The Role of Solar-Radiation Climatology in the Design of Photovoltaic Systems

    1. Introduction

    2. Key Features of the Radiation Climatology in Various Parts of the World

    3. Quantitative Processing of Solar Radiation for Photovoltaic Design

    4. The Stochastic Generation of Solar-Radiation Data

    5. Computing the Solar Geometry

    6. The Estimation of Hourly Global and Diffuse Horizontal Irradiation

    7. The Estimation of the All Sky Irradiation on Inclined Planes from Hourly Time Series of Horizontal Irradiation

    8. Conclusion

    Chapter IIA-2. Energy Production by a PV Array

    1. Annual Energy Production

    2. Peak Solar Hours: Concept, Definition, and Illustration

    3. Nominal Array Power

    4. Temperature Dependence of Array Power Output

    5. Module Orientation

    6. Statistical Analysis of the Energy Production

    7. Mismatch Losses and Blocking/Bypass Diodes

    Chapter IIA-3. Energy Balance in Stand-Alone Systems

    1. Introduction

    2. Load Description

    3. Seasonal Energy Balance

    Chapter IIA-4. Review of System Design and Sizing Tools

    1. Introduction

    2. Stand-Alone PV Systems Sizing

    3. Grid-Connected PV Systems

    4. PV System Design and Sizing Tools

    Chapter IIB-1. System Electronics

    1. Introduction

    2. DC to DC Power Conversion

    3. DC to AC Power Conversion (Inversion)

    4. Stand-Alone PV Systems

    5. PV Systems Connected to the Local Electricity Utility

    6. Available Products and Practical Considerations

    7. Electromagnetic Compatibility

    Chapter IIB-2. Batteries in PV Systems

    1. Introduction

    2. What Is a Battery?

    3. Why Use a Battery in PV Systems?

    4. Battery Duty Cycle in PV Systems

    5. The Battery as a ‘Black Box’

    6. The Battery as a Complex Electrochemical System

    7. Types of Battery Used in PV Systems

    8. Lead–Acid Batteries

    9. Nickel–Cadmium Batteries

    10. How Long Will the Battery Last in a PV System?

    11. Selecting the Best Battery for a PV Application

    12. Calculating Battery Size for a PV System

    13. Looking After the Battery Properly

    14. Summary and Conclusions

    Chapter IIC-1. Grid Connection of PV Generators

    1. Introduction

    2. Principal Integration Issues

    3. Inverter Structure and Operating Principles

    4. Islanding

    5. Regulatory Issues

    Chapter IIC-2. Installation Guidelines

    1. Roofs

    2. Facades

    3. Ground-Mounted Systems

    Chapter IIC-3. Installation Guidelines

    1. Introduction

    2. Codes and Regulations

    3. DC Ratings (Array Voltage and Current Maxima)

    4. Device Ratings and Component Selection

    5. Array Fault Protection

    6. Earthing Arrangements

    7. Protection by Design

    8. Labelling

    Chapter IID-1. Concentrator Systems

    1. Objectives of PV Concentration

    2. Physical Principles of PV Concentration

    3. Description of a Typical Concentrator: Components and Operation

    4. Classification of Concentrator Systems

    5. Tracking-Control Strategies

    6. Applications of C Systems

    7. Rating and Specification of PV Systems

    8. Energy Produced by a C System

    9. The Future of Concentrators

    Chapter IID-2. Operation of Solar Cells in a Space Environment

    1. Introduction

    2. Space Missions and their Environments

    3. Space Solar Cells

    4. Small Power Systems

    5. Large Power Systems

    Chapter IID-3. Calibration, Testing, and Monitoring of Space Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Calibration of Solar Cells

    3. Testing of Space Solar Cells and Arrays

    4. Monitoring of Space Solar Cells and Arrays

    Chapter IIE-1. Architectural Integration of Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Architectural Possibilities for PV Technology

    3. Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPVs)

    4. Aesthetics in PV Technology

    5. Built Examples

    Chapter IIE-2. Solar Parks and Solar Farms

    1. What Is a Solar Park?

    2. Design Issues for Solar Parks

    3. Solar Park Project Development Issues

    4. Regulatory Issues for Solar Parks

    5. The End Game

    Chapter IIE-3. Performance, Reliability, and User Experience

    1. Operational Performance Results

    2. Trends in Long-Term Performance and Reliability

    3. User Experience

    Appendix. Specifications of Performance Database of IEA PVPS

    Chapter IIE-4. Solar-Powered Products

    1. The Genesis of Solar-Powered Products

    2. Stand-Alone Consumer Products

    3. Solar Products for Grid Connection

    4. Nonconsumer Products

    5. Designing PV for Products

    6. Solar Products of the Future

    Chapter III-1. Characterization and Diagnosis of Silicon Wafers, Ingots, and Solar Cells

    1. Introduction

    2. Factors Affecting Carrier Recombination

    3. Measurement of the Minority-Carrier Lifetime

    4. Relationship Between Device Voltage and Carrier Lifetime

    5. Applications to Process Monitoring and Control of Silicon Solar Cells

    6. Conclusions

    Chapter III-2. Standards, Calibration, and Testing of PV Modules and Solar Cells

    1. PV Performance Measurements

    2. Diagnostic Measurements

    3. Commercial Equipment

    4. Module Reliability and Qualification Testing

    5. Module Degradation Case Study

    Chapter III-3. PV System Monitoring

    1. Introduction

    2. Equipment

    3. Calibration and Recalibration

    4. Data Storage and Transmission

    5. Monitoring Regimes

    Chapter IV-1. Overview of Potential Hazards

    1. Introduction

    2. Overview of Hazards in PV Manufacture

    3. Crystalline Silicon (x-Si) Solar Cells

    4. Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Cells

    5. Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Solar Cells

    6. Copper Indium Diselenide (CIS) Solar Cells

    7. Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) High-Efficiency Solar Cells

    8. Operation of PV Modules

    9. Photovoltaic Module Decommissioning

    10. Conclusion

    Chapter IV-2. Energy Payback Time and CO2 Emissions of PV Systems

    1. Introduction

    2. Energy Analysis Methodology

    3. Energy Requirements of PV Systems

    4. Energy Balance of PV Systems

    5. Outlook for Future PV Systems

    6. CO2 Emissions

    7. Conclusions

    Appendix A. Constants, Physical Quantities, and Conversion Factors

    Appendix B. List of Principal Symbols

    Appendix C. Abbreviations and Acronyms

    Appendix D. The Photovoltaic Market

    Appendix E. The Photovoltaic Industry

    Appendix F. Useful Web Sites and Journals

    Appendix G. International Standards with Relevance to Photovoltaics

    Appendix H. Books About Solar Cells, Photovoltaic Systems, and Applications


Product details

  • No. of pages: 1268
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2011
  • Published: October 3, 2011
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123859358

About the Editors

Augustin McEvoy

Affiliations and Expertise

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Tom Markvart

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, Solar Energy Laboratory School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton

Luis Castaner

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