Solar cells are a competitive alternative to nonrenewable energy sources such as fossil fuels. However, the efficiency of these devices is limited by photogenerated carrier recombination. We use a finite difference numerical model to study recombination phenomena in the absorber layer of solar cells including alternate recombination models and the effects of spatial distribution of recombination centers. We compare the effect of using the constant lifetime approximation for recombination to the full Shockley-Read-Hall expression in Silicon solar cells and find that the constant lifetime approximation holds for high defect densities but not for high photon flux densities. Finally, we simulate a defect layer in a thin film solar cell such as CdTe by varying the spatial distribution of defects. We find that this additional complication to the model is equivalent to using an average, constant defect density across the cell.

Streaming Media