On the thermodynamic limit of photovoltaic energy conversion

@article{Vos1981OnTT,
  title={On the thermodynamic limit of photovoltaic energy conversion},
  author={Alexis De Vos and Herman J. Pauwels},
  journal={Applied physics},
  year={1981},
  volume={25},
  pages={119-125}
}
An infinite stack ofp—n junctions with smoothly varying bandgap from ∞ to 0 is considered. AnI —V characteristic is derived, which is more correct than the classical exponential characteristic. It is shown that open-circuit operation is a reversible process and leads to the Carnot efficiency, if one defines the efficiency in the way that is usual in the theory of thermodynamic engines. If instead one uses the definition of efficiency usual in photovoltaics, open-circuit mode gives rise to zero… Expand
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