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Paper of the month

Design and realization of transparent solar modules based on luminescent solar concentrators integrating nanostructured photonic crystals


A. Jiménez-Solano, J. M. Delgado-Sánchez, M. E. Calvo, M. Miranda-Muñoz, G. Lozano, D. Sancho, E. Sánchez-Cortezón, H. Míguez Progress in Photovoltaics 2015, Vol. 0, DOI: 10.1002/pip.2621

Herein, we present a prototype of a photovoltaic module that combines a luminescent solar concentrator integrating one-dimensional photonic crystals and in-plane CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) solar cells. Highly uniform and wide-area nanostructured multilayers with photonic crystal properties were deposited by a cost-efficient and scalable liquid processing amenable to large-scale fabrication. Their role is to both maximize light absorption in the targeted spectral range, determined by the fluorophore employed, and minimize losses caused by emission at angles within the escape cone of the planar concentrator. From a structural perspective, the porous nature of the layers facilitates the integration with the thermoplastic polymers typically used to encapsulate and seal these modules. Judicious design of the module geometry, as well as of the optical properties of the dielectric mirrors employed, allows optimizing light guiding and hence photovoltaic performance while preserving a great deal of transparency. Optimized in-plane designs like the one herein proposed are of relevance for building integrated photovoltaics, as ease of fabrication, long-term stability and improved performance are simultaneously achieved.