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Energy harvesting and alternative renewable energy techniques are currently some of the most sought after research topics for engineers and scientists. Global warming has forced the researchers to abandon the rampant use of coal technology and find out alternative ways to harvest energy whether it maybe solar, wind, water, tides, geothermal heat, ocean waves, bio-fuel etc. Sunlight is the most abundant renewable energy source with an intensity of approximately 0.1W/cm² and over 1.5×10²²J (15,000 Exajoules) reaching earth's surface everyday. This enormous energy is 10,000 times greater than the daily consumption of 1.3EJ of the world. The single junction solar PV cells have produced very small solar conversion efficiency. The normally available photovoltaics have the conversion efficiency in the range of 8% -12%. This limitation has led to cutting edge researches in the photovoltaic area giving rise to the concept of multijunction solar photovoltaic cells. Multijunction solar cells direct the sunlight towards matched spectral sensitivity by splitting the spectrum into smaller slices. The main challenge in the photovoltaic industry is to make the modules more cost effective. The high efficiency multijunction photovoltaics have played a very significant role in reducing the cost through concentrator photovoltaic systems being implemented around the world. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and US Department of Energy have funded several III-IV multijunction solar cell projects. In our research we have introduced a new three layer multijunction photovoltaic material based on InP/InGaAs/InGaSb and four-layers PV comprised of AlGaAs/GaAs/InGaAs/InGaSb and AlGaAs/InP/InGaAs/InGaSb and have drawn a comparison of solar energy absorption, reflection and transmission with existing single-junction and multijunction cells. We discovered that the inclusion of InGaSb layer in the design has made a significant difference in absorption in the spectral range of 598nm-800nm, contributing to a higher efficiency of the solar cell.
A Thesis submitted to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Simon Foo, Professor Directing Thesis; Hui Li, Committee Member; Anke Meyer-Baese, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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