Xu, L., Liu, W., Liu, H., Ke, C., Wang, M., Zhang, C., Aydin, E., Al-Aswad, M., Kotsovos, K., Gereige, I., Al-Saggaf, A., Jamal, A., Yang, X., Wang, P., Laquai, F., Allen, T. G., De Wolf, S. Heat generation and mitigation in silicon solar cells and modules.Joule (2021).|
This study, which came out in Joule, reveals that once the PCE approaches a practical upper limit, work on the control and mitigation of the module temperature can be equally or even more significant than costly marginal gains in PCE.
Cost-effective photovoltaics (PVs) require a high energy yield with a
long system lifetime. However, both are adversely affected by temperature. Here, we assess the economic impact of thermal effects on
PV systems by establishing a temperature-dependent levelized cost
of energy (LCOE) model. Using this model, we introduce an equivalent ratio g (with the unit of absolute efficiency %/K) as a new metric
that quantitatively translates the LCOE gain obtained by reducing
the module temperature (Tmod) to an equivalent absolute power
conversion efficiency increase. The substantial value of g motivates
us to investigate the root causes of heating in solar cells and modules, with a focus on crystalline-Si (c-Si) PVs, given its market dominance. To link the heat analysis with Tmod, we establish and validate
an opto-electronically coupled thermal model to predict Tmod. This
modeling approach enables the quantification of possible ways to
mitigate undesired heating effects.
Temperature-dependent levelized cost of energy (LCOE)HeatingphotovoltaicModule temperatureEquivalent ratioOpto-electronically coupled thermal model