PC1D is the most commonly used of the commercially available solar cell modelling programs. Its success is based on its speed, user interface and continual updates to the latest cell models. It is used to simulate new device performance and also for new users to develop an understanding of device physics.

PC1D is now available free of charge from the University of NSW. The raw source code of PC1D is now available on SourceForge for programmers and developers. PV Lighthouse has more PC1D resources including a batch file generator

Setup of a problem in PC1D. The user can alter the cell parameters and either use internal models or provide externally measured data.

Once the user has setup the basic model PC1D, generates a number of nodes to solve. The number of nodes is increased in parts of the cell where the doping is changing and near surfaces.

Doping density as a function of distance from the front for the model described above. The cell is 300 micrometer thick but only the first few microns are shown to show the extra notes in the emitter and the depletion region. Not shown are the extra nodes at the rear of the device.

During simulation it is also possible to pause the program and examine the spatial distribution of carriers or field across the device at a particular bias point.

PC1D works in all windows versions up to Windows 7. However, the help file is no longer supported directly by more recent versions of Windows. A solution is to download the WinHlp32.exe from Microsoft. The help file containing a wealth of information about photovoltaic device simulation and operation can also be downloaded (PC1D5_9.pdf)