Solar Photovoltaic Cells - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128023297, 9780128026038

Solar Photovoltaic Cells

1st Edition

Photons to Electricity

Authors: Alexander P. Kirk
eBook ISBN: 9780128026038
Paperback ISBN: 9780128023297
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 10th November 2014
Page Count: 138
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Solar Photovoltaic Cells: Photons to Electricity outlines our need for photovoltaics - a field which is exploding in popularity and importance. This concise book provides a thorough understanding of solar photovoltaic cells including how these devices work, what can be done to optimize the technology, and future trends in the marketplace. This book contains a detailed and logical step-by-step explanation of thermodynamically-consistent solar cell operating physics, a comparison of advanced multi-junction CPV power plants versus combined-cycle thermal power plants in the framework of energy cascading, and a discussion of solar cell semiconductor resource limitations and the scalability of solar electricity as we move forward. Quantitative examples allow the reader to understand the scope of solar PV and the challenges and opportunities of producing clean electricity.

Key Features

  • Provides a compact and focused discussion of solar photovoltaics and solar electricity generation.
  • Helps you understand the limits of solar PV and be able to predict future trends.
  • Quantitative examples help you grasp the scope of solar PV and the challenges and opportunities of producing electricity from a renewable resource.


Senior undergraduate and graduate students in Electrical Engineering, Energy Engineering; Sustainability; academic professionals; solar industry professionals; government lab scientists; government funding agency managers; energy industry consultants; policy makers.

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Energy Demand and Solar Electricity

    • Abstract
    • 1.1. Introduction
    • 1.2. Human-sunlight connection
    • 1.3. Human energy requirement
    • 1.4. Electricity generation in the USA
    • 1.5. Global electricity generation
  • Chapter 2: From Nuclear Fusion to Sunlight

    • Abstract
    • 2.1. Introduction
    • 2.2. The massive sun
    • 2.3. Nuclear fusion sequence
    • 2.4. Solar neutrinos
    • 2.5. Quantum mechanical tunneling
    • 2.6. Radiant power
    • 2.7. From core to photosphere
    • 2.8. Long-distance travel
    • 2.9. TSI
    • 2.10. Extraterrestrial spectrum
    • 2.11. Relative air mass
    • 2.12. Aerosols and scattering
    • 2.13. Clouds
    • 2.14. Direct versus global radiation
    • 2.15. Photon flux
  • Chapter 3: Device Operation

    • Abstract
    • 3.1. Introduction
    • 3.2. History
    • 3.3. p–n junction cells
    • 3.4. Bandgap versus efficiency
    • 3.5. Photogenerated current density
    • 3.6. Absorption coefficient
    • 3.7. Hot-carrier relaxation
    • 3.8. Open circuit voltage
    • 3.9. Detailed balance
    • 3.10. Power conversion efficiency
    • 3.11. Free energy management
    • 3.12. Radiative recombination coefficient and lifetime
    • 3.13. Auger and SRH lifetime
    • 3.14. Minority carrier diffusion length
    • 3.15. Multiple junctions
    • 3.16. Hot-carrier cells
    • 3.17. Device engineering details
  • Chapter 4: Energy Cascading

    • Abstract
    • 4.1. Introduction
    • 4.2. Combined-cycle thermal power plants
    • 4.3. Volumetric power density
    • 4.4. Sunlight concentration with tracking
    • 4.5. 6J CPV cells
    • 4.6.


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© Academic Press 2015
Academic Press
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About the Author

Alexander P. Kirk

Affiliations and Expertise

Science Foundation Arizona Bisgrove Scholar, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University

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