A large number of solar cell and solar cell systems are described in this volume. The theory of their operation, their design and the levels of their performance is discussed. Originally the book appeared in 1978 but extensive change over the intervening years in the fields of energy generation and consumption, solar energy and solar cells, has necessitated the publication of an updated version.

The text initially surveys the requirements of humanity, the subsequent need for solar cells, the nature of sunlight and the properties of semiconductors. Concrete examples, extensive references and theoretical arguments are then used to present a comparison of options available in the design and operation of solar cells and solar cell systems. The cells - constructed from single, crystal, polycrystalline and amorphous semiconductors - and the systems - have varying designs and differing levels of solar energy for input and produce electricity or electrical and thermal energies. Solar cell production, economics and environmental effects are considered throughout the publication.

Table of Contents

Preface. Energy Needs - Energy Sources. Introduction. Consumption. Conventional Sources of Energy. Alternative Energy Sources. Nuclear fusion. Solar energy. Temperature differences. Thermodynamics. Ocean temperature-difference generators. Solar-thermal. Solar-electric. References. The Sun and Sunlight. Introduction. Sunlight. Geometrical Effects. Weather. Light Collection. Lens systems. Mirrors. Optical materials. Maximum optical concentration. References. Semiconductors. Introduction. Crystal Structure. Quantum Mechanics and Energy Bands. Electrons and Holes. Currents. Recombination and Carrier Lifetime. Junctions. References. Light-Semiconductor Interaction. Introduction. Reflection. Light Interaction. Preliminary Material Selection. Absorption. Reflection and Absorption. References. Basic Theoretical Performance. Introduction. Local Electric Fields. PN Junction Electrical Characteristics. Heterojunction Electrical Characteristics. Electrical Characteristics of Schottky Junctions. Open Circuit Voltage and Short Circuit Current. Optimum Power Conditions. References. Solar Cell Configuration and Performance. Introduction. Optical Orientation. Device Design - Minority Carrier Collection. Device Design - Saturation Current. Device Design - Series Resistance. Solar Cell Performance - Discussion. References. Advanced Approaches. Introduction. Temperature Effects. Heat Flow within a Solar Cell. Optical Concentration - Photocurrent. Performance under Concentration. References. Advanced Approaches - II. Introduction. Second Stage Solar Power Systems. Third Generation Solar Cell Systems. Miscellaneous Approaches. References. Polycrystalline and Amorphous Solar Cells. Introduction. Polycrystalline Solar Cells. Cadmium Sulfide/Copper Sulfide. Copper Indium Selenide (CIS). Polycrystalline Silicon. Thin film Cadmium Telluride.


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© 1995
Elsevier Science
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About the author

R.C. Neville

Affiliations and Expertise

Northern Arizona University, College of Engineering & Technology, Flagstaff, AZ, USA