%0 Journal Article
%J IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
%D 1979
%T Application of the superposition principle to solar-cell analysis
%A F.A. Lindholm
%A Fossum, J.G.
%A E.L. Burgess
%X The principle of superposition is used to derive from fundamentals the widely used shifting approximation that the current-voltage characteristic of an illuminated solar cell is the dark current-voltage characteristic shifted by the short-circuit photocurrent. Thus the derivation requires the linearity of the boundary-value problems that underlie the electrical characteristics. This focus on linearity defines the conditions that must hold if the shifting approximation is to apply with good accuracy. In this regard, if considerable photocurrent and considerable dark thermal recombination current both occur within the junction space-charge region, then the shifting approximation is invalid. From a rigorous standpoint, it is invalid also if low-injection concentrations of holes and electrons are not maintained throughout the quasi-neutral regions. The presence of sizable series resistance also invalidates the shifting approximation. Methods of analysis are presented to treat these cases for which shifting is not strictly valid. These methods are based on an understanding of the physics of cell operation. This understanding is supported by laboratory experiments and by exact computer solution of the relevant boundary-value problems. For the case of high injection in the base region, the method of analysis employed accurately yields the dependence of the open-circuit voltage on the short-circuit current (or the illumination level).
%B IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
%V 26
%P 165–171
%G eng