Manuscript_PV Materials.pdf - Advances In Materials And...

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Advances In Materials And Associated Challenges For Solar Cell Fabrication Md. Fahim F. Chowdhury 1 , Robert N. Dean 2 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Auburn University, AL-36849, USA 1 [email protected], 2 [email protected] Abstract –Solar energy is the most common source of clean and renewable energy currently. To fight the upcoming scarcity of fossil fuels and to reduce carbon footprints generated by traditional power sources more renewable penetration of solar energy is required. To achieve this objective we need more solar cells with high efficiency in terms of energy, space, maintenance, cost. Different materials have been used to fabricate photovoltaic cells in the last couple of decades. In this paper, we will discuss about the evolution and history of materials used to built PV panels. The materials are categorized in four generations. While some of these materials are recommended based on the efficiency they can be unusable if we consider the cost, availability and complexity of the fabrication methods. Comparative study of cost and efficiency as well as fabrication difficulty including geographical availability of sources are done and summarized. Index Terms – Photovoltaic materials, fabrication, perovskites, PV efficiency, solar cells. I. I NTRODUCTION Modern civilization is dependent on electricity. All human activity and progress are linked with electrical power in a direct or indirect way [1]. Power consumption has been increased substantially for centuries and still uprising [2]. With the increment of power production carbon di oxide emission in the environment rises. While this phenomenon was not significant previously and was not a big concern for humanities, the extensive dependency on power incorporates environmental challenges. Global warming [3] has been a concern for researchers and leaders in the last couple of decades in all over the world. Although, power plants are one of the most highest carbon-di-oxide emitter, human civilization is unthinkable without it. To address this challenge researchers are working for decades for alternative energy sources that can replace fossil fuel generated power plants [4-6]. Among the alternative renewable sources, solar energy is the most common [7]. Solar energy can be classified into photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power technologies (CSP) [8]. The solar power system comprises of solar panels to absorb energy from the sun, an inverter to for DC to AC application, and racking for mounting the solar panel system. The other accessories include batteries, charge controller etc [9- 10]. In the last four decades, progresses have been made to generated solar energy in an efficient and cost effective way. Currently commercial photovoltaic panels are only around 22% efficient [11]. One of the ways to increase the efficiency of solar cell is to find the right materials. A lot of work have been done on finding new materials for efficient photovoltaic panels [12- 15].

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