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An Integrated Assessment of Next Generation PV Technologies

In this study, next generation photovoltaic (PV) materials will be assessed for their viability as the top layer alternatives over crystalline Silicon (c-Si) as the bottom layer in a tandem device architecture. Such a design is critical to ensure effective capture of a broader range of the electromagnetic spectrum, leading to higher value for money and thereby a competitive advantage in the renewable energy market. These evaluations will be conducted through a holistic lens – in understanding not only the science and engineering aspects of a given technology, but through economic viability analyses and considering the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of it as well. Lastly, with the rapid development of data science – in particular Machine Learning – techniques over the past decade, these new technologies can be smartly modulated to find optimal compositions and fabrication methods that ensure high performance, low cost, and minimal concerns ethically. In the current study, five candidates – CdTe, perovskites, CIGS, CZTS, and a-Si – will be analyzed through these given outlooks and critically gauged against each other to determine their relative strengths and weaknesses. Standard metrics from each outlook domain will be utilized for assessment: from the science and engineering perspective, these will include device stability, degradability, and power conversion efficiency (PCE); price per watt (PPW) and levelized cost of efficiency (LCOE) will be employed for economic viability analyses; acquisition of materials together with toxicity concerns during production and disposal will be probed for ELSI review. It is imperative for the PV industry to adopt this comprehensive approach in its materials’ choices and assessments to ensure a mature and sustained growth.

Next Generation PVs, Solar, Tandem, Economic Viability, Machine Learning, ELSI

Joseph Wikar, Nicholas White, Tyler Body, Michael Vullo, Leanna Tse, et al. (2023). An Integrated Assessment of Next Generation PV Technologies. American Journal of Energy Engineering, 11(4), 100-109.

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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