This study improves the output power and brightness characteristics of a translucent hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) solar cell by integrating the solar cell with a novel twist nematic (TN) liquid crystal (LC) cell incorporating a sub-wavelength metal grating polarization beam splitter (PBS). Although conventional TN-LC cells are widely used to adjust the brightness in many display applications, the sheet polarizers used in such cells decay when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays and have a low light efficiency. Accordingly, in this study, a sub-wavelength metal grating PBS is used to replace not only the sheet polarizers in the conventional TN-LC cell but also the upper and lower alignment layers and transparent electrodes. Therefore, a translucent a-Si:H solar cell integrating with the novel TN-LC cell with the sub-wavelength metal grating PBS could improve power efficiency and durability in UV ray environment. The experimental results show that the transmittance gap between the "on" and "off" states of the enhanced translucent a-Si:H solar cell/novel TN-LC cell is of the order of 26.6% (i.e. 4.3-30.9%) for incident light with a wavelength of 800 nm, 6.3% (i.e. 10.8-17.1%) for an incident wavelength of 400 nm and 2.7% (i.e. 0-2.7%) for an incident wavelength of 510 nm. Moreover, it is shown that the novel TN-LC cell increases the maximum electrical power developed by the translucent a-Si:H solar cell and improves its power conversion efficiency by 0.209% in the "off" state and 0.417% in the "on" state. As a result, the proposed device represents an ideal solution for building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems, automobile industry applications and many other adjustable brightness photovoltaic applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films