Despite low fabrication costs and superior qualities, polycrystalline cadmium selenide telluride-based solar cells have exhibited some critical limitations. Most importantly, these solar cells display higher voltage losses than other mature photovoltaic technologies, and this is responsible for considerable impairment in performance and efficiency.
In a study undertaken by researchers at Colorado State University, First Solar Inc., Arizona State University, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory aims to better understand the voltage deficit observed in cadmium selenide telluride solar cells.
The findings of the study presented in Nature Energy provides insights that could help engineers to improve the performance of these cells in the future.
In fact, the idea to undertake this struck during an earlier research initiative, stated one of the research associates.
Meanwhile, the team which has long-term association with silicon photovoltaic solar cells, is accustomed to parsing loses is compelled identify the issue that limits the efficiency of cells and investigate their optimization.
Importantly, the team realized for the CdSeTe community to not have similar techniques to parse voltage and efficiency losses systematically, and were subject to a blind spot in an attempt to optimize their solar cells.
The review of past efforts aimed at fabricating CdSeTe solar cells led the team of researchers to observe that engineers involved in the development of these technologies often associated voltage losses with impairment or limitations of specific cell components. The task to clearly identify the mechanism behind voltage losses or impact on quantity was undertaken by very few studies.
To present in scientific literature, the team of researchers used an optical, contact-less, and non-destructive technique called External Radiative Efficiency. The technique is a valuable metric that explains the virtues of solar cells at reemitting absorbed light in open circuit.