AVS e-Talk: What Limits Solar Cell Efficiencies? Guide for the Perplexed to the Shockley-Queisser Model
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The Shockley-Queisser model is a landmark in the analysis of light-> electrical energy conversion by the photovoltaic effect, specifically aimed at solar cells. By defining an ideal situation as reference for actual solar cells, upper limits for conversion efficiency are obtained. What is often missed or misunderstood, is that it is a model, and as such assumptions are made, five of them. If this essential feat of the S&Q work is missed, one gets titles like “breaking the S&Q barrier” which, given that the model is solidly rooted in thermodynamics, should at least raise eyebrows.