Clean Technology 2010

Experimental study of solar spectrum impact on solar cells

X. Song, E.L. Miller, D. Garmire
University of Hawaii at Manoa, US

Keywords: solar spectrum, weather conditions, solar cell, pv panel materials


Variations in solar spectrum can lead to changes in the performance and efficiency of solar cells, which operate at peak efficiency only over a relatively narrow band of the spectrum. Similarly heat absorbed by solar panels can affect their efficiency and spectral response. These effects have lead to revisiting different solar sell technologies, such as amorphous silicon and other thin-film technologies, to evaluate their sensitivities to environmental conditions. Based on spectral variations throughout the day due to various atmospheric conditions such as clouds, haze, and smog, there may be a preference to install solar panels specifically optimized to harness the most energy-available portion of the spectrum. It is therefore important to study spectral changes as a function of weather conditions throughout the day in a unique environment such as Hawaii.
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