Optimal Interconnection of Three-Terminal Tandem Solar Cells

Henning Schulte-Huxel, Robert Witteck, Susanne Blankemeyer, Marc Koentges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Three-terminal (3T) tandem solar cells require an adapted module integration scheme in order to explore their full efficiency potential. The three terminals allow to extract the power of the top and bottom cell separately. In a cell string, the wide bandgap top cells are interconnected in parallel to multiple bottom cells resulting in a parallel/series interconnection. This interconnection scheme affects the operation of the subcells, the resulting current path between the subcells, the layout of the cell interconnects, and the system level. Here, we analyze by simulations and experiments the aspects of the module integration of series- and reverse-connected 3T cells with their practical impact on module processes and performance as well as the effect of varying voltage ratios on the string-end losses. If the subcells are connected in series, the module integration requires insulation layers and significantly longer interconnects compared to devices with reverse-connected subcells. Tandem devices with a reverse connection and a voltage ratio between top and bottom cell of 2:1 allow a lean interconnection design and low integration losses. We present an approach for the integration of bypass diodes for the protection against shading effects that allow to minimize string-end and shading losses for a system of modules featuring 3T cells.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-83605


  • photovoltaic
  • tandem solar cell
  • tandem solar module
  • three terminal


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