NREL is making advances in computational modeling.
Previous technology was limited to one-dimensional solar cell models and focused on current-voltage curves and quantum-efficiency spectra. NREL has advanced this technology to two-dimensional solar cell models and expanded modeling capabilities to simulate our electro-optical measurements, including time-resolved photoluminescence, electron-beam-induced current, near-field scanning optical microscopy, and photoconductive decay.
Also available is NREL's Photovoltaic (PV) Optics software package that was specifically developed for designing solar cells and modules and uses a combination of wave optics and ray-tracing techniques to handle thin-film solar cells, wafer-based cells, and the entire module (including non-planar or textured interfaces). Our PV Optics software can be used to optimize the optical performance of single- and multijunction cells and modules. We anticipate the upcoming completion of our next software package for a simplified electronic design of single- and multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Eventually, we will combine this new software package with PV Optics to deliver an accurate and comprehensive design package for all solar cells and modules.