Griddler: The handy 2D solar cell calculator


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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In this issue we offer some insights into what the next wave of photovoltaic technologies may look like as that upturn gathers pace. Industry observers have been in broad agreement that the major next-gen PV technology innovations won’t happen straight away. But there’s also little doubt that the search is now on in earnest for the breakthroughs that will come to define the state of the art in the industry in the years to come.

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