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Demonstration and Evaluation of a Nanocrystal-Nanowire Solar Cell

Jacques, David Andrew (2015) Demonstration and Evaluation of a Nanocrystal-Nanowire Solar Cell. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Climate change is likely to have a major impact on future civilisation. To combat the worst effects of this, progress in renewable energy is necessary. With a plentiful resource, solar photovoltaics is one such renewable technology that holds promise. However, the incumbent photovoltaic technology currently suffers from high costs, a carbon intensive manufacturing process and a limited potential for efficiency improvement. The aims of this research was to address these three issues through the fabrication of a novel solar cell architecture and identification of further areas that have the potential to improve device performance. This architecture utilises nanomaterials and therefore reduces material use and allows for less energy intensive fabrication processes while also allowing for a higher theoretical efficiency limit than that of silicon. Upon proof-of concept and despite efforts to improve cell efficiency, the output was still exceedingly low (External quantum efficiency circa 0.3 %). It was also deemed impractical to perform a life cycle analysis on such a prototypal device. However, analysis of a standard silicon device resulted in carbon intensities greater than 100 g/kWh CO2e, reaffirming the need to replace silicon. Through development of both a solar resource assessment methodology and a policy mechanism, avenues for carbon reduction were identified and quantified. For example, a reduction in the carbon intensity of the Chinese national grid could save over 500,000 tonnes CO2e in UK Feed-in tariff installations alone. Upon maturing of the demonstrated device, all chapters can be combined to maximise electrical output, minimise cost and reduce the levels of carbon intensity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Nanotechnology Solar photovoltaic
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Chemical and Process Engineering (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr D Jacques
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2016 11:30
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2016 12:56
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11515

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