Photovoltaics QCRF-FDTD Simulator

By Jacob R Duritsch1, Haejun Chung1, Peter Bermel1

1. Purdue University

Simulates optical and electrical behaviors of photovoltaic cells using a FDTD simulation method and QCRF material modeling.

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Version 1.2 - published on 30 Nov 2015

doi:10.4231/D3HT2GC8D cite this

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    This simulation is designed to allow the user to create their own photovoltaic material and to simulate how it will work. Based upon the inputs that follow, an absorption, transmission, and reflection curve will be calculated along with the Jsc, Voc, fill factor, efficiency, and a surface texture mesh. 

    The simulation uses the finite difference time domain (FDTD) method to determine how electromagnetic waves travel through the various mediums that the user defines. The FDTD method uses a discretized form of Ampere’s and Faraday’s Laws which interact in a leap-frog method. To model dispersive materials, the tool utilizes the quadratic complex rational function (QCRF) algorithm. The QCRF algorithm is particularly accurate when modeling dispersive, photovoltaic materials. For non-dispersive materials, the refractive index and k value are utilized.               

    Single junction and tandem junction options are available which correlates to the number of layers that the PV cell can have for simulation. Single junction cells can have four layers while tandem junction allows for eight layers. Each layer is already pre-defined as either non-dispersive or dispersive which will affect inputs for individual layers. Non-dispersive inputs use the refractive index and K value while dispersive uses the five coefficients for the QCRF as inputs.  Another major option available is correlated random texturing of layer surfaces based upon the user’s choosing. The random texturing is based upon a function using a correlation factor and the texturing height's aspect ratio. More information is given when prompting the user’s decision.

    More information about the tool can be found in the manual. If any issues occur while using the simulation tool, please contact nanoHUB to notify so that the tool can be fixed promptly. 

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[1] D. Griffiths. “Introduction to Electrodynamics,” Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ (1999).

[2] J. Schneider, “Understanding the Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method,” School of electrical engineering and computer science Washington State University (2010). http://www.EEcs.Wsu.Edu/~schneidj/ufdtd/.

[3] H. Chung, K-Y. Jung, X.T. Tee, and P. Bermel, “Time domain simulation of tandem silicon solar cells with optimal textured light trapping enabled by the quadratic complex rational function,” Optics Express 22, A818-A832 (2014).

[4] H. Chung, J. Cho, S-G. Ha, S. Ju, and K-Y. Jung, “Accurate FDTD dispersive modeling for concrete materials,” ETRI Journal 35, 915-918 (2013).

[5] C. Honsberg and S. Bowden, “PVCDROM,” Stuart, (2014).

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jacob Duritsch; Haejun Chung; Peter Bermel (2015). "Photovoltaics QCRF-FDTD Simulator,"