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Photovoltaics: A review of cell and module technologies


  • Kazmerski, Lawrence L.


This review centers on the status, and future directions of the cell and module technologies, with emphasis on the research and development aspects. The framework is established with a consideration of the historical parameters of photovoltaics and each particular technology approach. The problems and strengths of the single-crystal, polycrystalline, and amorphous technologies are discussed, compared, and assessed. Single- and multiple junction or tandem cell configurations are evaluated for performance, processing, and engineering criteria. Thin-film technologies are highlighted as emerging, low-cost options for terrestrial applications and markets. Discussions focus on the fundamental building block for the photovoltaic system, the solar cell, but important module developments and issues are cited. Future research and technology directions are examined, including issues that are considered important for the development of the specific materials, cell, and module approaches. Novel technologies and new research areas are surveyed as potential photovoltaic options of the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Kazmerski, Lawrence L., 1997. "Photovoltaics: A review of cell and module technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 1(1-2), pages 71-170, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:1:y:1997:i:1-2:p:71-170

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    7. Chaurey, Akanksha & Kandpal, Tara Chandra, 2010. "Assessment and evaluation of PV based decentralized rural electrification: An overview," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(8), pages 2266-2278, October.
    8. Afgan, Naim H. & Carvalho, Maria G., 2002. "Multi-criteria assessment of new and renewable energy power plants," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 739-755.
    9. Staffan Jacobsson & Björn A. Andersson & Lennart Bångens, 2002. "Transforming the energy system - the evolution of the German technological system for solar cells," SPRU Working Paper Series 84, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
    10. Al-Ismaily, Hilal A. & Probert, Douglas, 1998. "Photovoltaic electricity prospects in oman," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 59(2-3), pages 97-124, February.
    11. Hoppmann, Joern & Volland, Jonas & Schmidt, Tobias S. & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2014. "The economic viability of battery storage for residential solar photovoltaic systems – A review and a simulation model," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1101-1118.
    12. Radziemska, E., 2003. "The effect of temperature on the power drop in crystalline silicon solar cells," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-12.
    13. Malik, A.Q. & Damit, Salmi Jan Bin Haji, 2003. "Outdoor testing of single crystal silicon solar cells," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1433-1445.
    14. Li, Danny H.W. & Cheung, Gary H.W., 2005. "Study of models for predicting the diffuse irradiance on inclined surfaces," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 170-186, June.
    15. Peters, Michael & Schneider, Malte & Griesshaber, Tobias & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2012. "The impact of technology-push and demand-pull policies on technical change – Does the locus of policies matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1296-1308.
    16. Elani, U.A. & Bagazi, S.A., 1998. "The importance of silicon photovoltaic manufacturing in Saudi Arabia," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 89-94.
    17. Wamukonya, Njeri, 2007. "Solar home system electrification as a viable technology option for Africa's development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 6-14, January.
    18. Zhai, X.Q. & Wang, R.Z. & Wu, J.Y. & Dai, Y.J. & Ma, Q., 2008. "Design and performance of a solar-powered air-conditioning system in a green building," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 85(5), pages 297-311, May.
    19. Florides, G. A. & Tassou, S. A. & Kalogirou, S. A. & Wrobel, L. C., 2002. "Review of solar and low energy cooling technologies for buildings," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 557-572, December.

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