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Role of PV-Powered Vehicles in Low-Carbon Society and Some Approaches of High-Efficiency Solar Cell Modules for Cars

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: Developmentof highly-efficient photovoltaic (PV) modules and expanding its applicationfields are significant for the further development of PV technologies andrealization of innovative green energy infrastructure based on PV. Especially,development of solar-powered vehicles as a new application is highly desiredand very important for this end. This paper presents the impact of PVcell module conversion efficiency on reduction in CO2 emission andincrease in driving range of the electric based vehicles. Our studies show thatthe utilization of a highly-efficient (higher than 30 ) PV module enables thesolar-powered vehicle to drive 30 km day without charging in the case of lightweight cars with electric mileage of 17 km kWh under solar irradiation of3.7 kWh m2 day, which means that the majority of the family carsin Japan can run only by the sunlight without supplying fossil fuels. Thus, itis essential to develop high-efficiency as well as low-cost solar cells andmodules for automotive applications. The analytical results developed by theauthors for conversion efficiency potential of various solar cells for choosingcandidates of the PV modules for automotive applications are shown. Then weoverview the conversion efficiency potential and recent progress of various Sitandem solar cells, such as III-V Si, II-VI Si, chalcopyrite Si, andperovskite Si tandem solar cells. The III-V Si tandem solar cells are expectedto have a high potential for various applications because of its highconversion efficiency of larger than 36 for dual-junction and 42 fortriple-junction solar cells under 1-sun AM1.5 G illumination, lightweight andlow-cost potentials. The analysis shows thatIII-V based multi-junction and Si based tandem solar cells are considered to bepromising candidates for the automotive application. Finally, we report recentresults for our 28.2 efficiency and Sharp’s 33 mechanically stackedInGaP GaAs Si triple-junction solar cell. In addition, new approaches which are suitable for automotive applications by using III-V triple-junction, andstatic low concentrator PV modules are also presented.

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