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Spectral dependence of amorphous silicon photovoltaic device performance

Infield, D.G. (2004) Spectral dependence of amorphous silicon photovoltaic device performance. International Journal of Ambient Energy, 25 (1). pp. 26-32. ISSN 0143-0750

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The short circuit currents of a single, double and triple junction amorphous silicon (a-Si) device are investigated for changes with spectral irradiance variation. Two effects have been previously identified; (i) a primary spectral effect that depends purely on the availability of spectrally-useful irradiance within the absorption band of the device, and (ii) a secondary effect that depends also on the spectral distribution within this band. The average photon energy (APE) has been introduced as a useful parameter for describing spectra. It is a device-independent environmental parameter, which effectively puts a figure to the blueness of a spectrum and readily allows the analysis of spectral effects on photovoltaic devices. Single junction cells have a better performance as light becomes more blue-shifted. Double and triple junction cells have a performance that is maximised when the received spectrum is matched to the absorption profile and that decreases when the radiation is either red- or blue-shifted.