Author Options:

What sizes of solar cells shell I select? Answered


I have been given a task to suggest solar cell sizes, that are needed to be laminated with a newly invented structured glass, in order to test its useful effects on the solar cells.

The questions in my mind are:

What type of solar cells shell I select?
What sizes shell I suggest?
Any other notable things that I might consider while suggesting the cells...


Jack A Lopez

7 years ago

Choosing a type of solar cell is going to be tricky.

The Wikipedia article on solar cells
gives a good overview of what is out there.

Joining Process

The thing I am concerned about most is the process of marrying your glass to someone else's solar cell.

You mention a lamination process.  If that process involves pressure or heat, it might be damaging to the solar cell. For example crystalline silicon solar cells tend to be fragile.

Also if you are considering thin film solar cells, I think the way that works is you ship your glass to the thin film plant, and then they deposit a layer of solar cell on your glass. 

I am guessing  they also would do the other steps too, like:  adding connectors, and maybe gluing/laminating another layer, of glass, or something, to the back side of the cell to protect the thin film.

Spectral Character

If you happen to know how transmissive your glass is as a function of the wavelength of light, this might help in choosing a type of solar cell; i.e. one that is responsive to the wavelengths that are best transmitted by your glass.

Cell size

For this I am guessing you should just pick something that is easy to handle, and that makes the math easy for the engineers who will be testing it.  Perhaps a square, 10 cm on each side (and thus 100 cm2 in area).

raishikohJack A Lopez

Answer 7 years ago

Well the structured glass is from Saint Gobain and they'll laminate our samples with the their structured glass, in their own factory... so I think that its not a concern for me.

The idea is to make two groups of samples: one with plain glass and the other one with structured glass, so that we could compare the improvement because of the structured glass.

Read the Structured Glass patent and found that I was good for amorphous silicon cells, but I'll be having all sorts of samples laminated.

There are some optical factors that I am concerned about

When you put something really big attempting to measure the reflection losses, by the time its not exaclty perpendicular to the light source (unless this is very far away or amazingly collimated) anf if we are rotating the sample about that pivot point...then there will be and increased irradiance at some points, and decreased on other points..just because the distance and the angle have changed... hence the short circuit current is limited...morover the currents also decreasing because the angle is increased... so you have a cosine lose... and on top of it you also have a changing reflection loss with the angle... cosine losses are relatively easy to take out because its a geomatrical factor...extremely predictable and has nothing to do with measurements... apart from measuring the angle of tilt... there is no additional uncertinity in that... but having a larger sample.. we are having this additional effects into the current...

So what based on my above discussion... which size shell I suggest?

Jack A Lopezraishikoh

Answer 7 years ago

I was just assuming that these solar cells are flat, and that the light rays hitting the cell are all parallel, and you get the same angle at every point on the cell.  I mean sunlight is a light source that is very far away.

So I really don't have any new ideas for you.

Leave this question open; i.e. do not pick a best answer, and then maybe someone else will take a stab at answering it.

raishikohJack A Lopez

Answer 7 years ago

Any other factors that I might consider while suggesting the sample sizes..??


7 years ago

Welcome new member :-)
Theoretical upper efficiency limit on solar cells is 13%
if you combine a  visible light cell with an IR cell in the same
area space you can approach 26% efficiency. 

You will want to consider what is the most useful voltage 12 VDC, 24 VDC or higher ?
That in turn will decide how many cells you need in series..
Don't forget added voltage drop for blocking reverse current in the dark. 
The battery will discharge through the cells as a simple resistor if not blocked.

Next what is the maximum area of your special glass ?
That area divided by the number of cells needed in series will determine each cell's
area and that specifies the maximum current at full sun light.

Hope this helps.