Solar Cells and Their Applications, 2nd Edition BY Lewis M. Fraas, Larry D. Partain

Solar Cells and Their Applications, 2nd Edition BY Lewis M. Fraas, Larry D. Partain
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Solar Cells and Their Applications, 2nd Edition

BY Lewis M. Fraas, Larry D. Partain



627 pages October 2010

A major update of solar cell technology and the solar marketplace

Since the first publication of this important volume over a decade ago, dramatic changes have taken place with the solar market growing almost 100-fold and the U.S. moving from first to fourth place in the world market as analyzed in this Second Edition. Three bold new opportunities are identified for any countries wanting to improve market position. The first is combining pin solar cells with 3X concentration to achieve economic competitiveness near term. The second is charging battery-powered cars with solar cell¨Cgenerated electricity from arrays in surrounding areas¡ªincluding the car owners' homes¡ªwhile simultaneously reducing their home electricity bills by over ninety percent. The third is formation of economic "unions" of sufficient combined economic size to be major competitors.

In this updated edition, feed-in tariffs are identified as the most effective approach for public policy. Reasons are provided to explain why pin solar cells outperform more traditional pn solar cells. Field test data are reported for nineteen percent pin solar cells and for ~500X concentrating systems with bare cell efficiencies approaching forty percent. Paths to bare cell efficiencies over fifty percent are described, and key missing program elements are identified. Since government support is needed for new technology prototype integration and qualification testing before manufacturing scale up, the key economic measure is identified in this volume as the electricity cost in cents per kilowatt-hour at the complete installed system level, rather than just the up-front solar cell modules' costs in dollars per watt.

This Second Edition will benefit technologists in the fields of solar cells and systems; solar cell researchers; power systems designers; academics studying microelectronics, semiconductors, and solar cells; business students and investors with a technical focus; and government and political officials developing public policy.


Lewis M. Fraas, PhD, is the founder and President of JX Crystals Inc. He has spearheaded the development of high-power-density photovoltaic cells and complete concentrating photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic systems. Dr. Fraas wrote the first paper describing the forty percent-efficient triple-junction concentrator solar cell now entering high-volume production, and his group at Boeing demonstrated the first thirty-five percent-efficient dual-junction cell.

Larry D. Partain, PhD, is Director of Marketing and Advanced Technology, initiating and managing high-risk/high-payoff R&D programs for Varian Medical Systems. A prominent researcher in solar cell and related X-ray imager technology, Dr. Partain recently led efforts to develop high-performance X-ray and flat-panel imaging medical systems, helping to create over $100 million in company sales.


I. Introduction to Solar Cells. 1. Solar Cells: A Brief History and Introduction (Lewis Fraas and Larry Partain).

2. Solar Cell Electricity Market History, Public Policy, Projected Future and Estimated Costs (Larry Partain and Lewis Fraas).

3. Solar Cells, Single Crystal Semiconductors, and High Efficiency (Lewis Fraas).

4. Solar Cell Device Physics (Larry Partain).

II. Terrestrial Solar Cell Electricity.

5. Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells and Modules (Leonid Rubin).

6. Thin Film Solar Cells and Modules (Robert Birkmire).

7. Terrestrial Module Fabrication & Assembly Technologies (Christopher Bunner).

8. Chinese Solar Cell Status (Wang Sicheng).

9. Tracking the Sun for More kWh and Lower Cost Solar Electricity (Ron Corio, Michael Reed and Lewis Fraas).

10. Solar Cell Systems: Definition, Performance & Reliability (Jason Strauch, Larry Moore and Elmer Collins).

11. Leveled Cost of Energy for Utility-Scale Photovoltaics (Matthew Campbell).

III. Terrestrial Concentrator Solar Cell Systems.

12. Low Concentration Crystalline Silicon Systems (Lewis Fraas).

13. High-Concentration, III-V Multijunction Solar Cells (Geoffrey Kinsey).

14. High Concentration Fresnel Lens Assemblies and Systems (Gerhard (Peharz and Andreas Bett).

15. High Concentration Cassengrainian Solar Cell Modules and Arrays (Michael Ludowise and Lewis Fraas).

16. Concentrator Solar Cell Installations at University of Nevada Las Vegas (Suresh Sadineni and Robert Boehm).

17. Concentrator Solar Cell Field Installations (Francisca Rubio, Mar¡a Martinez and Pedro Banda).

IV. Solar Cells in Space.

18. Space Solar Cells and Applications (Sheila Bailey and Ryne Raffaelle).

V. Other Aspects & Considerations.

19. Solar Resource for Space and Terrestrial Applications (Christian Gueymard and Daryl Myers).

20. Solar Energy Costs: The Solar Advisor Model (Paul Gilman, Nathan Blair and Christopher Cameron).

21. Challenges of Large-Scale Solar Cell Electricity Production (David Faiman).

VI. Thin Films & X-ray Imager Technologies.

22. Market Overview of Flat Panel Detectors for X-Ray Imaging (Carl LaCasce, Larry Partain and Chuck Blouir).

23. Amorphous Silicon Transistors and Photodiodes (Robert Street).

24. Amorphous Silicon Digital X-ray Imaging (Richard Colbeth).

25. Photoconductor Digital X-ray Imaging (George Zentai).

VII. Summary.

26. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations (Lewis Fraas and Larry Partain).