What are the reasons for the loss of solar panel efficiency?

- Jan 31, 2019-

Solar panels use sunlight to generate chemical reactions to generate electricity. There is an important causal relationship between power generation and conversion efficiency. People are constantly researching and improving solar panel conversion efficiency. What are the reasons for the efficiency of solar panels?

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1. Loss of low energy photon energy. When the photon energy in the solar panel is less than the band gap of the semiconductor, the photon will directly penetrate the semiconductor material, and will not be absorbed or generate electron-hole pairs, and the energy of the portion of the light is lost by about 26%.


2. High energy light loses energy. When the photon energy is large or equal to the band gap of the semiconductor, the photons will be absorbed by the semiconductor material, and the energy of the photonics large dry semiconductor band gap will be released in the form of heat, and the energy of the part of the light is lost by about 40%.


3. Absorption efficiency and loss of reflection. Not all semiconductor materials have the same absorption capacity for light, and semiconductor materials with a large light absorption coefficient are absorbed by a thinner thickness of a semiconductor material having a smaller photon absorption and a smaller light absorption coefficient. The amount of photons is the same. Although the incident photons are effective light, they are reflected by surface reflection. The reason for the surface reflection of the solar panel is (1) direct reflection of the surface of the electrode on which it is located. (2) Reflections due to the difference in refractive index between the semiconductor material and the air.


4. Loss of open circuit voltage. The carriers generated by the light move in the PN junction due to the electric field of the space charge region, causing the charges to be polarized and generate a voltage. In the PN junction, the power released by the diffusion potential determined by the doping impurity concentration cannot be taken out. This loss is called voltage factor loss, which is about 40%.


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