A thermodynamic cycle for the solar cell
Robert Alicki , David Gelbwaser-Klimovsky , Alejandro Jenkins
AbstractA solar cell is a heat engine, but textbook treatments are not wholly satisfactory from a thermodynamic standpoint, since they present solar cells as directly converting the energy of light into electricity, and the current in the circuit as maintained by an electrostatic potential. We propose a thermodynamic cycle in which the gas of electrons in the pp phase serves as the working substance. The interface between the pp and nn phases acts as a self-oscillating piston that modulates the absorption of heat from the photons so that it may perform a net positive work during a complete cycle of its motion, in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics. We draw a simple hydrodynamical analogy between this model and the “putt-putt” engine of toy boats, in which the interface between the water’s liquid and gas phases serves as the piston. We point out some testable consequences of this model.
|Other language title versions|
|Journal series||Annals of Physics, ISSN 0003-4916|
|Publication size in sheets||0.8|
|Keywords in English||solar cell, self-oscillation, limit efficiency, plasma oscillation, quantum thermodynamics|
|Score|| = 35.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal|
= 40.0, 20-12-2017, ArticleFromJournal
|Publication indicators||: 2016 = 2.465 (2) - 2016=2.545 (5)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.