The Conversion Efficiency of a Solar Cell as Determined by the Detailed Balance Model

  • Takashi KitaEmail author
  • Yukihiro Harada
  • Shigeo Asahi
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


In the previous chapter, we discussed the conditions that apply to the actual solar cell but were not considered for the ideal solar cell. In order to derive the maximum output power of the actual solar cell, we have to discuss the balance between absorption (resulting in electrical current) and emission (due to the established voltage). Therefore, the present chapter discusses the balanced condition of voltage and current by employing the current–voltage relation determined in the previous chapter. Based on that, the conversion efficiency of the actual solar cell is derived. Then, we discuss the contributions of the different types of losses that occur in a solar cell with a single band gap.


Detailed balance Shockley–Queisser limit Conversion efficiency Losses in single-junction solar cell 


  1. 1.
    Hirst LC, Ekins-Daukes NJ (2011) Fundamental losses in solar cells. Prog Photovolt Res Appl 9(3):286–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Electronic EngineeringKobe UniversityKobeJapan

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