The text initially surveys the requirements of humanity, the subsequent need for solar cells, the nature of sunlight and the properties of semiconductors. Concrete examples, extensive references and theoretical arguments are then used to present a comparison of options available in the design and operation of solar cells and solar cell systems. The cells - constructed from single, crystal, polycrystalline and amorphous semiconductors - and the systems - have varying designs and differing levels of solar energy for input and produce electricity or electrical and thermal energies. Solar cell production, economics and environmental effects are considered throughout the publication.
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Energy Sources. Introduction. Consumption. Conventional Sources of Energy. Alternative Energy Sources. Nuclear fusion. Solar energy. Temperature differences. Thermodynamics. Ocean temperature-difference generators. Solar-thermal. Solar-electric. References. The Sun and Sunlight. Introduction. Sunlight. Geometrical Effects. Weather. Light Collection. Lens systems. Mirrors. Optical materials. Maximum optical concentration. References. Semiconductors. Introduction. Crystal Structure. Quantum Mechanics and Energy Bands. Electrons and Holes. Currents. Recombination and Carrier Lifetime. Junctions. References. Light-Semiconductor Interaction. Introduction. Reflection. Light Interaction. Preliminary Material Selection. Absorption. Reflection and Absorption. References. Basic Theoretical Performance. Introduction. Local Electric Fields. PN Junction Electrical Characteristics. Heterojunction Electrical Characteristics. Electrical Characteristics of Schottky Junctions. Open Circuit Voltage and Short Circuit Current. Optimum Power Conditions. References. Solar Cell Configuration and Performance. Introduction. Optical Orientation. Device Design
Minority Carrier Collection. Device Design
Saturation Current. Device Design
Series Resistance. Solar Cell Performance
Discussion. References. Advanced Approaches. Introduction. Temperature Effects. Heat Flow within a Solar Cell. Optical Concentration
Photocurrent. Performance under Concentration. References. Advanced Approaches
II. Introduction. Second Stage Solar Power Systems. Third Generation Solar Cell Systems. Miscellaneous Approaches. References. Polycrystalline and Amorphous Solar Cells. Introduction. Polycrystalline Solar Cells. Cadmium Sulfide/Copper Sulfide. Copper Indium Selenide (CIS). Polycrystalline Silicon. Thin film Cadmium Telluride. Other possibilities for polycrystalline solar cells. Final comments on polycrystalline solar cells. Amorphous Material Based Solar Cells. Amorphous Silicon. Concluding Remarks. References. Concluding Thoughts. Introduction. Economics. Electrical Energy Storage. The System. Final Words. References. Appendices. Conversion Factors. Selected Properties of Semiconductors with Solar Cell Potential. The Saturation Current in PN Junction Solar Cells. Some Useful Physical Constants. Symbols. Subject Index.