Abstract

We modify silicon heterojunction solar cells for the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum and reduced generation rate that they experience in tandems, with a focus on the front transparent conductive oxide layer and rear reflector. These cells are then incorporated into both two-terminal and four-terminal tandems, including a new, optically coupled tandem architecture that utilizes a silicon “PVMirror”. A PVMirror is a curved PV module that may include a spectrum-splitting film or coating on the sunward side of the cells. Near-infrared light is transmitted to the silicon cells, whereas visible (and potentially infrared) light is reflected and focused—thanks to the curvature of the PVMirror—onto a second, complementary solar converter. Though there are many potential embodiments of the PVMirror technology, this talk presents initial results for a parabolic trough PVMirror incorporating silicon “bottom” cells with a GaAs receiver at its focus. Our best NIR-tuned silicon cells reach a peak spectral efficiency of 42% at 900 nm, and PVMirrors with these cells coupled with GaAs receivers demonstrate outdoor efficiencies of over 24% with respect to the global irradiance and over 28% with respect to the direct normal irradiance.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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