EPE  Vol.12 No.6 , June 2020
Role of PV-Powered Vehicles in Low-Carbon Society and Some Approaches of High-Efficiency Solar Cell Modules for Cars
Abstract: Development of highly-efficient photovoltaic (PV) modules and expanding its application fields are significant for the further development of PV technologies and realization of innovative green energy infrastructure based on PV. Especially, development of solar-powered vehicles as a new application is highly desired and very important for this end. This paper presents the impact of PV cell/module conversion efficiency on reduction in CO2 emission and increase in driving range of the electric based vehicles. Our studies show that the utilization of a highly-efficient (higher than 30%) PV module enables the solar-powered vehicle to drive 30 km/day without charging in the case of light weight cars with electric mileage of 17 km/kWh under solar irradiation of 3.7 kWh/m2/day, which means that the majority of the family cars in Japan can run only by the sunlight without supplying fossil fuels. Thus, it is essential to develop high-efficiency as well as low-cost solar cells and modules for automotive applications. The analytical results developed by the authors for conversion efficiency potential of various solar cells for choosing candidates of the PV modules for automotive applications are shown. Then we overview the conversion efficiency potential and recent progress of various Si tandem solar cells, such as III-V/Si, II-VI/Si, chalcopyrite/Si, and perovskite/Si tandem solar cells. The III-V/Si tandem solar cells are expected to have a high potential for various applications because of its high conversion efficiency of larger than 36% for dual-junction and 42% for triple-junction solar cells under 1-sun AM1.5 G illumination, lightweight and low-cost potentials. The analysis shows that III-V based multi-junction and Si based tandem solar cells are considered to be promising candidates for the automotive application. Finally, we report recent results for our 28.2% efficiency and Sharp’s 33% mechanically stacked InGaP/GaAs/Si triple-junction solar cell. In addition, new approaches which are suitable for automotive applications by using III-V triple-junction, and static low concentrator PV modules are also presented.
Cite this paper: Yamaguchi, M. , Masuda, T. , Araki, K. , Sato, D. , Lee, K. , Kojima, N. , Takamoto, T. , Okumura, K. , Satou, A. , Yamada, K. , Nakado, T. , Zushi, Y. , Yamazaki, M. and Yamada, H. (2020) Role of PV-Powered Vehicles in Low-Carbon Society and Some Approaches of High-Efficiency Solar Cell Modules for Cars. Energy and Power Engineering, 12, 375-395. doi: 10.4236/epe.2020.126023.

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