Matching Items (20)

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Silver Recovery from Silver Fluoride Solution for Solar Module Recycling

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As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious

As Energy needs grow and photovoltaics expand to meet humanity’s demand for electricity, waste modules will start building up. Tao et. al. propose a recycling process to recover all precious solar cell materials, a process estimated to generate a potential $15 billion in revenue by 2050. A key part of this process is metal recovery, and specifically, silver recovery. Silver recovery via electrowinning was studied using a hydrofluoric acid leachate/electrolyte. Bulk electrolysis trials were performed at varied voltages using a silver working electrode, silver pseudo-reference electrode and a graphite counter-electrode. The highest mass recovery achieved was 98.8% which occurred at 0.65 volts. Product purity was below 90% for all trials and coulombic efficiency never reached above 20%. The average energy consumption per gram of reduced silver was 2.16kWh/kg. Bulk electrolysis indicates that parasitic reactions are drawing power from the potentiostat and limiting the mass recovery of the system. In order to develop this process to the practical use stage, parasitic reactions must be eliminated, and product purity and power efficiency must improve. The system should be run in a vacuum environment and the reduction peaks in the cell should be characterized using cyclic voltammetry.

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  • 2020-12

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Waste Management and Equipment Design of Recycling Solar Cells

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In Professor Meng Tao and Wen-His Huang's paper's [1,2] the recycling process to create a sustainable Photovoltaic (PV) industry is laid out. The process utilized to recycle the materials requires

In Professor Meng Tao and Wen-His Huang's paper's [1,2] the recycling process to create a sustainable Photovoltaic (PV) industry is laid out. The process utilized to recycle the materials requires the use of three semi-problematic chemicals including: Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH), Nitric Acid (HNO3), and Hydrofluoric Acid (HF). By utilizing a combination of reverse osmosis filtration, pre-lime treatment, neutralization by combination, and mineral specific filtering the chemicals can either by recycled as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standardized waste water or profitable byproducts such as Sodium Nitrate (NaNO3). For the recycling of hydrofluoric acid, a combination of pre-lime coagulation, microfiltration and a spiral wound reverse osmosis (RO) system, less than 1mg/L in line with national standards for human consumption. The sodium hydroxide and nitric acid recycling process handles more contaminants that just the byproduct of the chemicals and manages this through a combination of multi-stage flash/vapor distillation along with a reverse osmosis filtration system. By utilizing both systems of recycling, a completely closed loop system for recycling silicon solar cells is laid out and creates a new standard for clean energy management.

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  • 2016-12

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Electroplating of Aluminium on Silicon in an Ionic Liquid

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Electroplating of aluminum (Al) on silicon (Si) substrates has been demonstrated in an above-room-temperature ionic liquid for the metallization of wafer-Si solar cells. The electrolyte was prepared by mixing anhydrous

Electroplating of aluminum (Al) on silicon (Si) substrates has been demonstrated in an above-room-temperature ionic liquid for the metallization of wafer-Si solar cells. The electrolyte was prepared by mixing anhydrous aluminum chloride and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrachloroaluminate. The plating was carried out by means of galvanostatic electrolysis. The structural and compositional properties of the Al deposits were characterized, and the sheet resistance of the deposits revealed the effects of pre-bake conditions, deposition temperature, and post-deposition annealing conditions. It was found that dense, adherent Al deposits with resistivity in the high 10[superscript −6] Ω-cm range can be reproducibly obtained directly on Si substrates.

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  • 2014-11-30

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Characterization of Al/Si junctions on Si(100) wafers with chemical vapor deposition-based sulfur passivation

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Chemical vapor deposition-based sulfur passivation using hydrogen sulfide is carried out on both n-type and p-type Si(100) wafers. Al contacts are fabricated on sulfur-passivated Si(100) wafers and the resultant Schottky

Chemical vapor deposition-based sulfur passivation using hydrogen sulfide is carried out on both n-type and p-type Si(100) wafers. Al contacts are fabricated on sulfur-passivated Si(100) wafers and the resultant Schottky barriers are characterized with current–voltage (I–V), capacitance–voltage (C–V) and activation-energy methods. Al/S-passivated n-type Si(100) junctions exhibit ohmic behavior with a barrier height of <0.078 eV by the I–V method and significantly lower than 0.08 eV by the activation-energy method. For Al/S-passivated p-type Si(100) junctions, the barrier height is ~0.77 eV by I–V and activation-energy methods and 1.14 eV by the C–V method. The discrepancy between C–V and other methods is explained by image force-induced barrier lowering and edge-leakage current. The I–V behavior of an Al/S-passivated p-type Si(100) junction remains largely unchanged after 300 °C annealing in air. It is also discovered that heating the S-passivated Si(100) wafer before Al deposition significantly improves the thermal stability of an Al/S-passivated n-type Si(100) junction to 500 °C.

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  • 2014-09-01

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Tuning the band gap of hematite alpha-Fe2O3 by sulfur doping

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Based on the density functional theory, the band structure and optical absorption of the isovalent sulfur-doped hematite alpha-Fe2O3 are studied systematically. The results show that the band gap of alpha-Fe2O3-xSx

Based on the density functional theory, the band structure and optical absorption of the isovalent sulfur-doped hematite alpha-Fe2O3 are studied systematically. The results show that the band gap of alpha-Fe2O3-xSx decreases monotonically with increasing the sulfur concentration, resulting in an obvious increase of the optical absorption edge in the visible range. Most intriguingly, unlike the pure alpha-Fe2O3 material, the alpha-Fe2O3-xSx with x approximate to 0.17 (S concentration of similar to 5.6%) exhibits a direct band gap of an ideal value (similar to 1.45 eV), together with high optical absorption (similar to 10(5) cm(-1)) and lower carriers effective masses. These results indicate that alpha-Fe2O3-xSx, with a proper concentration of sulfur, may serve as a promising candidate for low-cost solar-cell materials.

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  • 2013-09-05

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Electrical and thermal transport in alternative device technologies

Description

The goal of this research work is to develop a particle-based device simulator for modeling strained silicon devices. Two separate modules had to be developed for that purpose: A generic

The goal of this research work is to develop a particle-based device simulator for modeling strained silicon devices. Two separate modules had to be developed for that purpose: A generic bulk Monte Carlo simulation code which in the long-time limit solves the Boltzmann transport equation for electrons; and an extension to this code that solves for the bulk properties of strained silicon. One scattering table is needed for conventional silicon, whereas, because of the strain breaking the symmetry of the system, three scattering tables are needed for modeling strained silicon material. Simulation results for the average drift velocity and the average electron energy are in close agreement with published data. A Monte Carlo device simulation tool has also been employed to integrate the effects of self-heating into device simulation for Silicon on Insulator devices. The effects of different types of materials for buried oxide layers have been studied. Sapphire, Aluminum Nitride (AlN), Silicon dioxide (SiO2) and Diamond have been used as target materials of interest in the analysis and the effects of varying insulator layer thickness have also been investigated. It was observed that although AlN exhibits the best isothermal behavior, diamond is the best choice when thermal effects are accounted for.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Development of a Load-Managing Photovoltaic System Topology

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Nearly all solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are designed with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) functionality to maximize the utilization of available power from the PV array throughout the day. In

Nearly all solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are designed with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) functionality to maximize the utilization of available power from the PV array throughout the day. In conventional PV systems, the MPPT function is handled by a power electronic device, like a DC-AC inverter. However, given that most PV systems are designed to be grid-connected, there are several challenges for designing PV systems for DC-powered applications and off-grid applications. The first challenge is that all power electronic devices introduce some degree of power loss. Beyond the cost of the lost power, the upfront cost of power electronics also increases with the required power rating. Second, there are very few commercially available options for DC-DC converters that include MPPT functionality, and nearly all PV inverters are designed as “grid-following” devices, as opposed to “grid-forming” devices, meaning they cannot be used in off-grid applications.

To address the challenges of designing PV systems for high-power DC and off-grid applications, a load-managing photovoltaic (LMPV) system topology has been proposed. Instead of using power electronics, the LMPV system performs maximum power point tracking through load management. By implementing a load-management approach, the upfront costs and the power losses associated with the power electronics are avoided, both of which improve the economic viability of the PV system. This work introduces the concept of an LMPV system, provides in-depth analyses through both simulation and experimental validation, and explores several potential applications of the system, such as solar-powered commercial-scale electrolyzers for the production of hydrogen fuel or the production and purification of raw materials like caustic soda, copper, and zinc.

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  • 2020

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Growth and characterization of III-V phosphide nanowires

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Nanowires are 1D rod-like structures which are regarded as the basis for future technologies. III-V nanowires have attracted immense attention because of their stability, crystal quality and wide

Nanowires are 1D rod-like structures which are regarded as the basis for future technologies. III-V nanowires have attracted immense attention because of their stability, crystal quality and wide use. In this work, I focus on the growth and characterization of III-V semiconductor nanowires, in particular GaP, InP and InGaP alloys. These nanowires were grown using a hot wall CVD(Chemical Vapor Deposition) setup and are characterized using SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), EDX (Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy) and PL (Photoluminescence) techniques.

In the first chapter, Indium Phosphide nanowires were grown using elemental sources (In and P powders). I consider the various kinds of InP morphologies grown using this method. The effect of source temperature on the stoichiometry and optical properties of nanowires is studied. Lasing behavior has been seen in InP nanostructures, showing superior material quality of InP.

InGaP alloy nanowires were grown using compound and elemental sources. Nanowires grown using compound sources have significant oxide incorporation and showed kinky morphology. Nanowires grown using elemental sources had no oxide and showed better optical quality. Also, these samples showed a tunable alloy composition across the entire substrate covering more than 50% of the InGaP alloy system. Integrated intensity showed that the bandgap of the nanowires changed from indirect to direct bandgap with increasing Indium composition. InGaP alloy nanowires were compared with Gallium Phosphide nanowires in terms of PL emission, using InGaP nanowires it is possible to grow nanowires free of defects and oxygen impurities, which are commonly encountered in GaP nanowires.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Design and fabrication of monolithically-integrated laterally-arrayed multiple band gap solar cells using composition-graded alloy nanowires for spectrum-splitting photovoltaic systems

Description

This dissertation aims to demonstrate a new approach to fabricating solar cells for spectrum-splitting photovoltaic systems with the potential to reduce their cost and complexity of manufacturing, called Monolithically Integrated

This dissertation aims to demonstrate a new approach to fabricating solar cells for spectrum-splitting photovoltaic systems with the potential to reduce their cost and complexity of manufacturing, called Monolithically Integrated Laterally Arrayed Multiple Band gap (MILAMB) solar cells. Single crystal semiconductor alloy nanowire (NW) ensembles are grown with the alloy composition and band gap changing continuously across a broad range over the surface of a single substrate in a single, inexpensive growth step by the Dual-Gradient Method. The nanowire ensembles then serve as the absorbing materials in a set of solar cells for spectrum-splitting photovoltaic systems.

Preliminary design and simulation studies based on Anderson's model band line-ups were undertaken for CdPbS and InGaN alloys. Systems of six subcells obtained efficiencies in the 32-38% range for CdPbS and 34-40% for InGaN at 1-240 suns, though both materials systems require significant development before these results could be achieved experimentally. For an experimental demonstration, CdSSe was selected due to its availability. Proof-of-concept CdSSe nanowire ensemble solar cells with two subcells were fabricated simultaneously on one substrate. I-V characterization under 1 sun AM1.5G conditions yielded open-circuit voltages (Voc) up to 307 and 173 mV and short-circuit current densities (Jsc) up to 0.091 and 0.974 mA/cm2 for the CdS- and CdSe-rich cells, respectively. Similar thin film cells were also fabricated for comparison. The nanowire cells showed substantially higher Voc than the film cells, which was attributed to higher material quality in the CdSSe absorber. I-V measurements were also conducted with optical filters to simulate a simple form of spectrum-splitting. The CdS-rich cells showed uniformly higher Voc and fill factor (FF) than the CdSe-rich cells, as expected due to their larger band gaps. This suggested higher power density was produced by the CdS-rich cells on the single-nanowire level, which is the principal benefit of spectrum-splitting. These results constitute a proof-of-concept experimental demonstration of the MILAMB approach to fabricating multiple cells for spectrum-splitting photovoltaics. Future systems based on this approach could help to reduce the cost and complexity of manufacturing spectrum-splitting photovoltaic systems and offer a low cost alternative to multi-junction tandems for achieving high efficiencies.

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  • 2014

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Development of silver-free silicon photovoltaic solar cells with all-aluminum electrodes

Description

To date, the most popular and dominant material for commercial solar cells is

crystalline silicon (or wafer-Si). It has the highest cell efficiency and cell lifetime out

of all commercial solar cells.

To date, the most popular and dominant material for commercial solar cells is

crystalline silicon (or wafer-Si). It has the highest cell efficiency and cell lifetime out

of all commercial solar cells. Although the potential of crystalline-Si solar cells in

supplying energy demands is enormous, their future growth will likely be constrained

by two major bottlenecks. The first is the high electricity input to produce

crystalline-Si solar cells and modules, and the second is the limited supply of silver

(Ag) reserves. These bottlenecks prevent crystalline-Si solar cells from reaching

terawatt-scale deployment, which means the electricity produced by crystalline-Si

solar cells would never fulfill a noticeable portion of our energy demands in the future.

In order to solve the issue of Ag limitation for the front metal grid, aluminum (Al)

electroplating has been developed as an alternative metallization technique in the

fabrication of crystalline-Si solar cells. The plating is carried out in a

near-room-temperature ionic liquid by means of galvanostatic electrolysis. It has been

found that dense, adherent Al deposits with resistivity in the high 10^–6 ohm-cm range

can be reproducibly obtained directly on Si substrates and nickel seed layers. An

all-Al Si solar cell, with an electroplated Al front electrode and a screen-printed Al

back electrode, has been successfully demonstrated based on commercial p-type

monocrystalline-Si solar cells, and its efficiency is approaching 15%. Further

optimization of the cell fabrication process, in particular a suitable patterning

technique for the front silicon nitride layer, is expected to increase the efficiency of

the cell to ~18%. This shows the potential of Al electroplating in cell metallization is

promising and replacing Ag with Al as the front finger electrode is feasible.

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  • 2016