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Griddler: The handy 2D solar cell calculator

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By Johnson Wong, Head of PV Characterization, SERIS, National University of Singapore; Ranjani Sridharan, Research Engineer, SERIS, National University of Singapore

Actual solar cells are large-area, two-dimensional (2D) devices with lateral variations in internal voltage, but most of the time they are represented by simplistic equivalent circuits consisting of a few lumped elements. Griddler© is a finite-element-method (FEM) simulator that constructs and solves the full 2D distributed network representation of a metallized solar cell. Not only is this approach far more versatile and adaptable to real-world problems, accurate in predicting subtle device characteristics, and compatible with mapping data, but it can also be implemented in a way that is as easy and quick to use as a handy calculator. This paper covers a broad range of applications related to full-area 2D modelling and introduces Griddler 1.0 - a compact freeware computer program that places much of that power at the fingertips of any solar cell engineer with a PC.

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