Computer modeling of a concentrator solar cell

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Bryan, Kevin D.
Cosby, Ronald M.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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The application of high speed computers to simulate physical devices has pioneered many scientific advances in recent times. With a suitable model to simulate their activity, solar cells are excellent candidates for such applications. In this work, a computer program has been developed which models an N+-P-P+ solar cell in one dimension. This model is structured to allow solar cells of different materials to be used in the program, however, only silicon is used here in order to demonstrate the capabilities of the program.For purposes of simplicity, the following conditions are assumed. All solar radiation enters the cell at normal incidence. The cell's temperature is uniform throughout and is considered a constant in all calculations. Doping concentrations in individual cell regions are uniform. Generation and recombination rates are also uniform within each of the cell's three regions. Items common to the two-dimensional cell but superficial to the one-dimensional cell such as contacts, lateral current flow, edge effects and variations of any type in the lateral direction are assumed to be non-existent.Background information for those not familiar with the topic is given followed by a presentation of the equations used. The general method of numerical calculation is then explained. Examples of program output are discussed along with an example application of the program. An entire program listing is given in appendix B.