Special Issue "Photovoltaic Devices"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 January 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Santolo Daliento
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Guest Editor
Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy
Interests: modeling of power devices; lifetime engineering treatments; semiconductor characterization techniques; innovative photovoltaic devices
Prof. Dr. Pierluigi Guerriero
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electrical and Information Technologies, University of Naples Federico II Via Claudio 21, Napoli (NA), Italy
Interests: inverters; measurement; nanoelectronics; optoelectronics; photovoltaics; power electronics; semiconductor device physics; thin film deposition
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Laura Lancellotti
Website
Guest Editor
Portici Research Center, European Energy Research Alliance (ENEA), P.le E. Fermi 1, 80055 Portici (Napoli), Italy
Interests: CPV concentration photovoltaics; cSi wafer-based technology; emerging/novel concepts for high efficiency at low cost; material and device characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last fifteen years, the dream of massive production of electrical energy from photovoltaic conversion has become a consolidated reality. Nevertheless, exciting challenges lie ahead. Utility-scale solar systems are largely based on silicon solar cell technology that has reached full maturity. On the other hand, silicon efficiency is relatively low, and new materials, new architectures, and new concepts are being investigated to push promote the efficiency of this technology. This Special Issue welcomes research dealing with both silicon-based and next-generation solar cells, with special emphasis on reliability issues. Studies on strategies for improving the effectiveness of energy exploitation at the system level are welcome as well. Papers are expected in but not limited to the following areas:

  • Silicon device technology;
  • Thin films;
  • Multijunction;
  • Concentrator;
  • Organic cells;
  • Hybrid;
  • New materials;
  • Reliability (hot spot, PID, long-term stability, and so on).
Prof. Dr. Santolo Daliento
Prof. Dr. Pierluigi Guerriero
Dr. Laura Lancellotti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • photovoltaic devices
  • silicon solar cells
  • thin film solar cells
  • concentrator solar cells
  • organic solar cells
  • photovoltaic materials
  • photovoltaic reliability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Degradation Analysis of an Amorphous Silicon Solar Module
Energies 2020, 13(16), 4126; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13164126 - 10 Aug 2020
Abstract
This work examines the degradation of photovoltaic modules. It assesses the structural defects of amorphous silicon solar cells, which result from mechanical stress at nanoscale level. Firstly, it analyses the interface morphology, deformation, and internal delamination of a single junction amorphous silicon solar [...] Read more.
This work examines the degradation of photovoltaic modules. It assesses the structural defects of amorphous silicon solar cells, which result from mechanical stress at nanoscale level. Firstly, it analyses the interface morphology, deformation, and internal delamination of a single junction amorphous silicon solar module. Secondly, it explores the interface deformation of the layers of the defective region of the module with some statistical tools including root mean root (RSM) and arithmetic mean (Rq). It used the aforementioned tools to demonstrate the effect of microstructural defects on the mechanical behaviour of the entire layers of the module. The study established that the defect observed in the module, emanated from long-term degradation of the a-Si solar cells after years of exposure to various light and temperature conditions. It tested the mechanism of mechanical degradation and its effect on the reliability and stability of the defective and non-defective regions of the module with adhesion force characterisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Shading, Dusting and Incorrect Positioning of Photovoltaic Modules as Important Factors in Performance Reduction
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1992; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081992 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The amount of solar radiation reaching the front cover of a photovoltaic module is crucial for its performance. A number of factors must be taken into account at the design stage of the solar installation, which will ensure maximum utilization of the potential [...] Read more.
The amount of solar radiation reaching the front cover of a photovoltaic module is crucial for its performance. A number of factors must be taken into account at the design stage of the solar installation, which will ensure maximum utilization of the potential arising from the location. During the operation of a photovoltaic installation, it is necessary to limit the shading of the modules caused by both dust and shadowing by trees or other objects. The article presents an analysis of the impact of the radiation reaching the surface of the radiation module on the efficiency obtained. Each of the analyzed aspects is important for obtaining the greatest amount of energy in specific geographical conditions. Modules contaminated by settling dust will be less efficient than those without deposits. The results of experimental studies of this effect are presented, depending on the amount of impurities, including their origins and morphologies. In practice, it is impossible to completely eliminate shadowing caused by trees, uneven terrain, other buildings, chimneys, or satellite dishes, and so on, which limits the energy of solar radiation reaching the modules. An analysis of partial shading for the generated power was also carried out. An important way for maximizing the incoming radiation is the correct positioning of the modules relative to the sun. It is considered optimal to position the modules relative to the light source, that is, the sun, so that the rays fall perpendicular to the surfaces of the modules. Any deviation in the direction of the rays results in a loss in the form of a decrease in the available power of the module. The most beneficial option would be to use sun-tracking systems, but they represent an additional investment cost, and their installations require additional space and maintenance. Therefore, the principle was adopted that stationary systems should be oriented to the south, using the optimal angle of inclination of the module surface appropriate for the location. This article presents the dependence of the decrease in obtained power on the angle of deviation from the optimal one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Impedance Spectroscopy for the Characterization of the All-Carbon Graphene-Based Solar Cell
Energies 2020, 13(8), 1908; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13081908 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this work, front contacts for graphene-based solar cells are made by means of colloidal graphite instead of gold. The performance is characterized by exploiting impedance spectroscopy and is compared to the standard gold contact technology. Impedance data are analysed through equivalent circuit [...] Read more.
In this work, front contacts for graphene-based solar cells are made by means of colloidal graphite instead of gold. The performance is characterized by exploiting impedance spectroscopy and is compared to the standard gold contact technology. Impedance data are analysed through equivalent circuit representation in terms of lumped parameters, suitable to describe the complex impedance in the frequency range considered in the experiments. Using this approach, capacitance–voltage of the considered graphene–silicon solar cell is found and the barrier height forming at the graphene–silicon interface is extracted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems with Single-Axis Sun Tracker: Case Study for Central Vietnam
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1457; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061457 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Recently, the demand for small grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems has been rapidly increasing; this is due to the reduction in the costs of grid-connected storage systems as compared to those of the stand-alone ones. Notably, the performance of the solar tracking system is [...] Read more.
Recently, the demand for small grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems has been rapidly increasing; this is due to the reduction in the costs of grid-connected storage systems as compared to those of the stand-alone ones. Notably, the performance of the solar tracking system is not only depending on the types but also the region that they are set up and used. To understand how solar tracking systems work globally, we need to know their performance in each country and even the different parts of a country. In this study, two grid-connected PV systems with 250 W solar modules were used to investigate the efficient improvement of a single-axis sun tracking system in Central Vietnam. First, a mechanical tracking device with a linear actuator and a controller was designed and then its performance was comprehensively investigated with a grid-connected PV system. In addition to evaluating the energy gain by the tracking system, this study also considered the energy consumption of the linear actuator with its controller and a small grid-connected PV system; this has generally been omitted in previous works. Experimental results indicate that the total energy consumption of the tracking system was approximately 2–8% of the energy generated by the grid-connected PV system. The maximum overall energy generation was confirmed to have increased by up to 30.3% on a sunny day upon using the proposed tracking system; further, the net energy gain by using the sun tracker was ascertained to be 15.2% in average weather conditions. Based on the success of this work, we will keep experimenting with other parts of Vietnam. Also, we will collaborate with colleagues in other countries to create a guideline for understanding and using the solar tracker regionally and globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Devices)
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