Solar energy materials and solar cells vol:26 issue:3 pages:189-201
This work presents a computation method to evaluate the life expectance of cells in space. The effects of the radiation environment are taken into account as a reduction of carrier lifetime. This reduction is calculated for each particle type as a function of the incident energy and the traveled depth inside the cell. Afterwards the calculated lifetimes are supplied to the PC-1D in order to obtain the electrical characteristics of the cell. The method allows one to calculate the equivalent damage relative to 1 MeV electrons of the different particles in the space environment. But its main feature lies in the direct calculation of the cell degradation by adding the contribution to lifetime reduction of each particle type. Results on efficiency degradation versus time in a circular orbit of 4630 km and 90-degrees inclination are shown for different cover glass thicknesses.