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Open AccessArticle

Temperature-Dependent Analysis of Solid-State Photon-Enhanced Thermionic Emission Solar Energy Converter

by Yang Yang 1,2,*, Wei Wei Cao 1,3,4, Peng Xu 1,4, Bing Li Zhu 1,5, Yong Lin Bai 1,2, Bo Wang 1, Jun Jun Qin 2,5 and Xiao Hong Bai 2
1
Key Laboratory of Ultrafast Photoelectric Diagnostic Technology, Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710119, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Transient Optics and Photonics, Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710119, China
3
Key Laboratory for Physical Electronics and Devices of the Ministry of Education and Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Information Photonic Technique, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
4
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100091, China
5
Collaborative Innovation Center of Extreme Optics, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030006, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071554
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 27 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrothermal Modeling of Solar Cells and Modules)
Solid-state photon-enhanced thermionic emission (PETE) solar energy converters are newly proposed devices that can directly convert solar energy into electrical power at high temperatures. An analytical model based on a one-dimensional steady-state equation is developed to analyze the temperature-dependent performance of the solid-state PETE converter. The treatment used to derive the reverse saturation current density ( J 0 ) and open-circuit voltage ( V o c ) of the solid-state PETE converter is similar to that used in photovoltaic cells. Thus, their performances at elevated temperatures can be compared. Analysis results show that J 0 of the solid-state PETE converter with a GaAs absorption layer is approximately three orders of magnitude lower, and the decrease rate of open-circuit voltage ( d V o c / d T ) is smaller than that of a practical GaAs photovoltaic cell. The improved performance of the solid-state PETE converter at high temperatures is attributed to the simultaneous use of diffusion and ballistic transport to harvest photo-generated electrons. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that, besides using wide bandgap materials and increasing doping density, harvesting solar energy via PETE effect can effectively improve the performance of solar cells at elevated temperatures. View Full-Text
Keywords: photon-enhanced thermionic emission; temperature dependence; solid-state device; solar cell; III–V semiconductors photon-enhanced thermionic emission; temperature dependence; solid-state device; solar cell; III–V semiconductors
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Yang, Y.; Cao, W.W.; Xu, P.; Zhu, B.L.; Bai, Y.L.; Wang, B.; Qin, J.J.; Bai, X.H. Temperature-Dependent Analysis of Solid-State Photon-Enhanced Thermionic Emission Solar Energy Converter. Energies 2020, 13, 1554.

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