Modeling low cost hybrid tandem photovoltaics with the potential for efficiencies exceeding 20%

Zach M. Beiley, Michael D. McGehee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


It is estimated that for photovoltaics to reach grid parity around the planet, they must be made with costs under $\$$0.50 per W p and must also achieve power conversion efficiencies above 20% in order to keep installation costs down. In this work we explore a novel solar cell architecture, a hybrid tandem photovoltaic (HTPV), and show that it is capable of meeting these targets. HTPV is composed of an inexpensive and low temperature processed solar cell, such as an organic or dye-sensitized solar cell, that can be printed on top of one of a variety of more traditional inorganic solar cells. Our modeling shows that an organic solar cell may be added on top of a commercial CIGS cell to improve its efficiency from 15.1% to 21.4%, thereby reducing the cost of the modules by ¼15% to 20% and the cost of installation by up to 30%. This suggests that HTPV is a promising option for producing solar power that matches the cost of existing grid energy. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9173
JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-C1-015-21
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Center for Advanced Molecular Photovoltaics (CAMP) (Award no. KUS-C1-015-21) made by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium. Additional funding was provided by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (Z.M.B.).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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