Optical Approaches for Passive Thermal Management in c-Si Photovoltaic Modules

Ian Slauch, Michael Deceglie, Timothy Silverman, Vivian Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus Citations


Elevated operating temperatures of solar cells encapsulated in modules lead to reduced efficiency and module lifetime. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities for passive optical thermal management of PV modules based on the rejection of sub-band-gap light by idealized reflectors and scatterers applied at different interfaces within crystalline Si modules and discuss the limitations to performance at each interface. We find that the annual power-weighted average operating temperature is most readily reduced via sub-band-gap reflection from the module glass, by 3.3 K for Al-BSF modules and 2.9 K for PERC modules with 100% sub-band-gap reflection. Sub-band-gap reflection at the cell interface offers up to 2.2 K (1.8 K) temperature reduction for Al-BSF (PERC) modules, increased cell rear reflection offers up to 1.2 K temperature reduction, and directional scattering offers up to 1.5 K reduction.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 100430
Number of pages15
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 19 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-78679


  • photovoltaics
  • solar energy
  • spectrally selective structures
  • thermal management


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