Additional optical and electrical losses in solar cells

So far, we have discussed the Shockley-Queisser limit to the maximal conversion efficiency of a single-junction solar cell. However, to derive the Shockley-Queisser limit we used a number of assumptions that hold for an ideal solar cell. In reality, there are always additional losses in solar cells that we, engineers, try to overcome to get […]

I-V characteristics of a solar cell

Now that we know a bit about the physical processes behind photovoltaic energy conversion, let’s take a look at the device that does this, a solar cell. In the next few weeks, we will go deep into all the operating principles of solar cells. We will discuss the semiconductor physics and optics governing their behavior […]

Spectral mismatch in solar cells

In previous few weeks, you have learned semiconductor physics, basic operating principles of solar cells, optical phenomena, and light management techniques involved in solar cell as well. The purpose of a solar cell is to convert energy of electromagnetic radiation directly into electricity. The energy conversion in a solar cell is based on the photovoltaic […]

Solar cell conversion efficiency

As we have seen in previous videos, there are several optical and electrical losses that determine the conversion efficiency of a solar cell. How do we take all these losses into account when determining the conversion efficiency of a solar cell? In other words, what is the mathematical expression for the efficiency incorporating all of […]

The equivalent circuit of a solar cell

In our previous video we learned about the i-V characteristic of a solar cell. How can we simulate this characteristic in a circuit diagram? To answer this question we are going to look at the equivalent circuit of a solar cell. Let’s start with what we learned in the previous video. Here is the I-V […]


My name is Annemiek, I am 22 years old and I am from the Noordoostpolder. I am responsible for the aerodynamics and I am a racer. Why am I participating in the World Solar Challenge? I think it is an awesome project and I have thought so for a long time. It has been a […]

Multijunction solar cells

Earlier in the week we discussed the Shockley- Queisser limit as a fundamental limit for conversion efficiency of a single-junction solar cell. A key word here is single-junction. In this video, we will introduce the concept of multi-junction solar cells. They are used to surpass the theoretical maximum conversion efficiency of single-junction solar cells: the […]

Solar Energy | DelftX on edX | Course About Video

DR. ARNO SMETS: Welcome to the Delft University of Technology. My name is Arno Smets and it’s my pleasure to be your lecturer in the course, Solar Energy. In this course, you will be introduced to technologies which convert sunlight into electricity, heat and solar fuels. We will discuss the fundamental physical principles of how […]