During the past few years there has been a significant interest in spectrum splitting systems to increase the overall efficiency of photovoltaic solar energy systems. However, methods for comparing the performance of spectrum splitting systems and the effects of optical spectral filter design on system performance are not well developed. This paper addresses these two areas. The system conversion efficiency is examined in detail and the role of optical spectral filters with respect to the efficiency is developed. A new metric termed the Improvement over Best Bandgap is defined which expresses the efficiency gain of the spectrum splitting system with respect to a similar system that contains the highest constituent single bandgap photovoltaic cell. This parameter indicates the benefit of using the more complex spectrum splitting system with respect to a single bandgap photovoltaic system. Metrics are also provided to assess the performance of experimental spectral filters in different spectrum splitting configurations. The paper concludes by using the methodology to evaluate spectrum splitting systems with different filter configurations and indicates the overall efficiency improvement that is possible with ideal and experimental designs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics