Enhancing Photovoltaic Output Power by 3-Band Spectrum-Splitting and Concentration using a Diffractive Micro-Optic

Daniel Friedman, Nabil Mohammad, Peng Wang, Rajesh Menon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus Citations

Abstract

We report the enhancement of photovoltaic output power by separating the incident spectrum into 3 bands, and concentrating these bands onto 3 different photovoltaic cells. The spectrum-splitting and concentration is achieved via a thin, planar micro-optical element that demonstrates high optical efficiency over the entire spectrum of interest. The optic (which we call a polychromat) was designed using a modified version of the direct-binary-search algorithm. The polychromat was fabricated using grayscale lithography. Rigorous optical characterization demonstrates excellent agreement with simulation results. Electrical characterization of the solar cells made from GaInP, GaAs and Si indicate increase in the peak output power density of 43.63%, 30.84% and 30.86%, respectively when compared to normal operation without the polychromat. This represents an overall increase of 35.52% in output power density. The potential for cost-effective large-area manufacturing and for high system efficiencies makes our approach a strong candidate for low cost solar power.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)A1519-A1525
JournalOptics Express
Volume22
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Optical Society of America.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-63316

Keywords

  • diffractive optics
  • micro-optical devices
  • solar energy

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