Simulation of the High Temperature Performance of InGaN ‘Topping’ Cells
This work reports on the design of a high efficiency InGaN-based two junction (2J) tandem solar cell via numerical simulation, operating at high temperatures (450o C) and under 200 suns for application in a hybrid concentrating solar thermal (CST) system. To address the polarization and band-offset issues for GaN/InGaN heterojunction solar cells, band engineering techniques are employed. A simple interlayer is proposed at the hetero-interface rather than using an In composition grading layer, which is difficult to fabricate. The base absorber thickness and doping concentration have been optimized for 1J cell performance, and current matching was imposed on the series constrained 2J tandem cell design. The simulation results show that the crystalline quality (short recombination lifetime) of current nitride materials is a critical limiting factor the performance of the 2J cell design at high temperatures. The theoretical conversion efficiency of the best devices can be as high as ~21.8% at 450o C and 200X based on the assumed material parameters.