Enhanced Solar Cells Efficiency Approach for Smart Grids Applications

Written by Adel El-Shahat

Gaps and Room for Improvement: Solar electric power is rapidly growing in smart grids applications; however, it needs to be less expensive and more efficient, especially with advances in photovoltaic (PV) materials. The value of any new technology depends on its anticipated performance and manufacturing cost, which is reflected into its capital cost. The cost of manufacturing the silicon cell is important for future products. 

Recent development and future aspects of a-Si/a-SiGe and a-Si/NC-Si multi-junction solar cells show that there are still research points to be addressed in future. Solar cells with the multi-crystalline-silicon substrate are also investigated to enhance the efficiency of fabricated cells using screen-printing technology. It is shown that high-quality and uniform graphene could act as a front electrode of hybrid hetero-junction photovoltaic (PV) cells. Through this experiment, power conversion efficiency (PCE), was greatly enhanced from 6.85% to 8.60%. Excellent fabrication methods to make high-efficient organic solar cells with graphene as a substitute to transparent-electrode are investigated for the enhancement of solar cell efficiency. Recent progress has been made in the optimization of perovskite films for organic perovskite solar cells, showing future challenges in perovskite solar cells research. Photovoltaic converters with a cutoff wavelength of 1100 nm have achieved electrical efficiency of 40.7% at the value of 0.16 W/cm2, which could enhance the control of energy losses and optimization of the structure. In another effort, the experimental measurements of coefficients of the temperature in crystalline silicon solar cells were investigated. The used combination makes a considerable reduction in material cost compared to other designs, which use only the InGaSb.


Proposed PV Cells

The proposed organic tandem PV cells have many advantages such as high new accomplished power conversion efficiency (PCE), excellent diversity, thickness constraint overcome over single-junction cells, large-area printing fabrication, thermalization, flexibility, transmission loss, and low cost. However, it is still having performance limitations such as relatively low sunlight absorption range, lacking optimal low-bandgap materials, and the need to enhance power conversion efficiency. The highest achieved efficiency of this type is 17.3%, which is the proposed starting point or the base value to build optimization problems. Recent examinations and characterizations have been adopted for the PV cells polymer materials to verify the degradation of PV cells, as a vital electrical feature under acidic circumstances. A tandem PV solar cell with different high bandgap is proposed and fabricated using a hybrid method to reach high efficiency in the variety of 1.5 eV to 1.8 eV. Due to the continuous inventions and modernizations of organic photovoltaics, there are 5027 patents associated with organic solar cells up to 2018. Another successful PV cell fabrication is done utilizing thin-film laser techniques to yield 14 cm2 modules that reach 16% efficiency with 92% fill factor. P3HT: PCBM organic PV cells’ performance was examined to get the doping absorption of boric acid on the PV considerations by computing fill factor, efficiency, open circuit current, and short circuit current. Another study proposed to perform an airflow to weaken the effect of moisture on the PV cells and improve the power conversion efficiency. New approaches have been adopted for organic chemical vapor installation 2.05 eV bandgap production associated with multi-junction PV cells to improve the wavelength and broader bandgap. Recent research shows great interest in opt-electrical and aging characterizations to study the degradation process and enhance the stability and reliability of the heterojunction solar cells [1-4].


Suggested Solution

The suggested approach proposes an investigation of modern solutions towards prototyping 2D-printed Organic Photovoltaic Solar Cells (OPV) and 3D-printed solar cell panels with high efficiency. The optical density for PV cells’ light will be deployed via phase space for efficient photons’ conversion. The effect of layer width and substitute layers of tandem cells will be analyzed and optimized using optical-electrical modeling. Thickness reduction of the solar cell absorber layer will be reduced from micrometer to be nanometer until getting the best efficient cell’s performance under different materials used. The interface’s defects due to light annealing-induced changes will be investigated along with ultra-thin PV cells’ light management. Exploring the solar cells ion implantation technique under the temperature effect and bi-facial PV cells will be proposed along with stability analysis. The mentioned techniques will be used to overcome some physical and material obstacles to model, design, and fabricate enhanced tandem organic photovoltaic cells with various materials recipes. Mathematical simulation models will be implemented using Simulink ANSYS and Gpvdm Software. These models will be analyzed and tested to enhance their performance regarding efficiency, temperature, humidity, and energy losses. Solidworks® will be used for the design, Ansys® will be adopted for the analysis, and Gpvdm Software will be used for the modeling. 2D Printing will be used for the fabrication of PV cells. The development work is communicated between electrical and manufacturing engineering groups. Two different printers will be used: an inkjet printer for printing the Photovoltaic cells, which is suitable for printing electronics and small storage devices, and a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer for manufacturing frames of PV modules. Te research will address the penetration of optimized Pico/Nano PV system and intermittent distributed photovoltaic generation sources in smart grids. A modern experimental smart integrated PV storage module based on the printed PV cells could be designed and built.



  1. S. Sumaiya, K. Kardel, A. El-Shahat, “Organic Solar cell by Inkjet printing - An overview”, Technologies, vol. 5, no. 3, p. 53, Aug. 2017.
  2. S. Sumaiya, A. El-Shahat, K. Kardel, “Multidimensional Modelling of Organic Solar Cell”, 2018 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, California, USA, October 18 – 21, 2018.
  3. A. El-Shahat, S. Sumaiya, “DC-Microgrid System Design, Control, and Analysis”, Electronics, vol. 8, no. 2, Jan. 2019, p. 124.
  4. A. El-Shahat, Advanced Applications for Artificial Neural Networks, ISBN 978-953-51-5676-5, INTECH Publisher, UK, 2018.
  5. R. Koad, A. Zobaa, A. El-Shahat, “A Novel MPPT Algorithm Based on Particle Swarm Optimisation for Photovoltaic Systems”, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, vol. 8, Issue: 2, 2017, pp. 468–476.



This article was edited by Hossam Gabber.

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Adel El-Shahat (S’08-M’11-SM’17) received the B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from Zagazig University, Egypt, in 1999. the M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering (Power and Machines) from Zagazig University, Egypt, in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree (Joint Supervision) from Zagazig University, Egypt, and The Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus, OH, USA, in 2011. He is currently an Assistant Professor - Energy Technology, School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University, USA. He is the Founder and Director of Advanced Power Units and Renewable Distributed Energy Lab (A_PURDUE). His research focuses on Modeling, Design, Optimization, Simulation, Analysis, and Control of various aspects such as Smart Nano & Micro- Grids; Electric Mobility & Transportation Electrification, Renewable Energy Systems; Wireless Charging of Electric Vehicles; Electric Vehicles; Special Purposes Electric Machines; Deep Learning Techniques; Distributed Generation Systems; Thermoelectric Generation; Special Power Electronics Converters; Power Systems; Energy Storage & Conservation; and Engineering Education. So far, He has 9 books, 5 chapters in books, 58 journal papers, 68 conference papers, and 106 other publications with his collaborators, and students related to his research interests. He has more than 20 years of working experience in academia and industry. He has experience in funding grants proposals, and He got some awards and recognitions due to his research work. He has good experience directing research for both graduate and undergraduate students for funded projects. He holds full-time academic positions at Purdue University, Georgia Southern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ohio State University, USA, and Suez University, Egypt, along with some full-time and part-time positions in Egyptian companies as an electrical engineer, and consultant as a professional engineer. Additionally, He has distinguished professional training, and He is a Senior Member in the IEEE and IRED institutions along with 21 professional memberships in other societies. Finally, He served as a book editor for 4 books, and a reviewer for 8 books. He is a guest editor and editor-in-chief for two international journals. Also, He is a reviewer for other 34 international journals. Moreover, He served as invited conference sessions chair and reviewer for 31 international conferences along with other community and academic services.

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