Radiative cooling for solar cells

Linxiao Zhu, Aaswath Raman, Ken X. Wang, Marc A. Anoma, Shanhui Fan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Standard solar cells heat up under sunlight, and the resulting increased temperature of the solar cell has adverse consequences on both its efficiency and its reliability. We introduce a general approach to radiatively lower the operating temperature of a solar cell through sky access, while maintaining its sunlight absorption. We present first an ideal scheme for the radiative cooling of solar cells. For an example case of a bare crystalline silicon solar cell, we show that the ideal scheme can passively lower the operating temperature by 18.3 K. We then show a microphotonic design based on realistic material properties, that approaches the performance of the ideal scheme. We also show that the radiative cooling effect is substantial, even in the presence of significant non-radiative heat change, and parasitic solar absorption in the cooling layer, provided that we design the cooling layer to be sufficiently thin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhysics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices IV
EditorsMasakazu Sugiyama, Alexandre Freundlich, Jean-Francois Guillemoles
ISBN (Electronic)9781628414486
StatePublished - 2015
EventPhysics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices IV - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 10 2015Feb 12 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherPhysics, Simulation, and Photonic Engineering of Photovoltaic Devices IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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