Solar cells are usually characterised under standard test conditions (STC), which do not resemble realistic operation conditions, especially for indoor applications where the cells operate at much lower irradiances than for outdoor applications. The potential of CdTe/CdS solar cells developed in our laboratory for low irradiance applications typical of indoor use is investigated and compared to conventional cell materials like c-Si and GaAs. Parameters of the IV-characteristics are normalized to the STC values for comparative analysis. The CdTe/CdS cells show a superior relative efficiency and voltage at low intensities than the c-Si and GaAs cells. The CdTe/CdS solar cells with STC efficiencies of around 11 % retain around 8 % efficiency at 1W/m2 and the Voc remains as high as 600 mV under the same conditions. Together with a low cost production the suitability of these CdTe/CdS cells for indoor application is preeminent, especially for applications requiring high voltages. This study gives an insight on the irradiance dependent performance of different solar cell materials, as well as explanations of the observed dependencies by analysing the underlying transport phenomena. Therefore irradiance was varied over almost 5 orders of magnitude.
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