Impact of the Thomson effect on concentrating photovoltaic cells

Nimrod Ari, Abraham Kribus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Photovoltaic cells convert most of the absorbed photon energy to heat. Removal of the heat by thermal conduction creates a temperature gradient that is significant in concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) cells subject to high incident radiation flux. The Thomson effect interaction between this temperature gradient and the electrical current in the cell can either increase or decrease the electrical power output of the cell. Here we show that the Thomson effect has a non-negligible impact on the conversion efficiency of Ge-based CPV cells, which is comparable to the impact of typical series resistance, and therefore this effect should be considered in cell modeling. The effect may also have a significant impact on the performance of other high power optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1421-1425
Number of pages5
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Concentrating photovoltaics
  • Conversion efficiency
  • Thomson Effect
  • Triple-junction cells


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