3, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
4, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
2, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Solar energy is perhaps the most abundant renewable energy source, but its conversion into electric power is still challenging for photovoltaic (PV) cells because they have not achieved efficiencies and cost that can that put solar cells in a competitive advantage. Achieving a larger efficiency by collecting from the UV to IR spectrum is the motivation for a proposed ultra-wide solar spectrum photovoltaic-thermoelectric (PV-TE) solar power cell. The understanding of the Photo-thermoelectric effects and charge transfer characteristics for the proposed PV-TE solar cell is fundamental and covered in this work. The PV-TE solar cell is composed of a p-type BiSbTe layer deposited over n-type GaAs. The TE component (p-type BiSbTe) will capture the thermal energy of the infrared (IR) region producing carrier diffusion and accumulation on the cold side of the device cell. Charge separation will be observed between the n-GaAs and the p-type BiSbTe thermoelectric leg establishing the contribution to power generation by both: photovoltaic and thermoelectric elements. The proposed technology provides an alternative to single device with a high efficiency due to a wider use of the solar spectrum.