Photonic Materials: Recent Advances and Emerging Applications

Third Generation Solar Cells - Promising Devices to Meet the Future Energy Needs

Author(s): Ram Chhavi Sharma *

Pp: 85-100 (16)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815049756123010008

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


 Energy is the basic input for the improvement of the social status of human beings and the development of a nation. At present, we are observing a shift in the use of energy from non-renewable to the renewable energy due to exhausting natural resources of non-renewable energy and other environmental and climatic concerns. Solar energy resource is an inexhaustible source of energy. The development of first generation solar cells using silicon material in the middle of the nineteenth century introduced a new era in the renewable energy transformation process when the first solar cells were flown on the fourth satellite, the Vanguard-I in 1958. But despite abundant material resources, high stability and good performance, this technology could not fulfill the energy need except a fraction due to very long payback time. The second generation solar cells are also not very encouraging due to the scarcity of materials and their toxic nature. The third generation solar cells, due to extremely low energy payback time and unlimited availability of material are promising devices to contribute significantly in solar energy conversion, despite limitations of poor stability and low efficiency. The present chapter critically analyses the third generation solar cells, in regard to materials, production, fabrication process, energy payback time, efficiency and applications.

Keywords: Efficiency, Energy Payback Time and Applications, Renewable Energy, Solar Cells.

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