The interpenetration of thin film technology and the field of optoelectronics has led to the continuous development of optoelectronic thin film technology, and various new types of optoelectronic thin film devices have emerged. Thin film solar cells use the principle of photovoltaic effect to achieve photoelectric conversion. With the shortage of resources in the world, thin film solar cells, as a kind of photoelectric functional film, can effectively solve the problem of energy shortage, and it is pollution-free and easy to popularize on a large scale. Thin film solar cells have greater advantages: (1) After thin film is achieved, expensive semiconductor materials can be greatly saved; (2) The material preparation of thin film batteries can save many processes; (3) Thin-film solar cells use cheap substrates (ceramics, stainless steel, etc.) to obtain large-area battery modules and reduce the efficiency loss caused by series and parallel connections between modules. At present, thin film solar cells can be divided into silicon thin-film type, compound semiconductor thin-film type and organic thin-film type according to their materials. Thin film solar cells have significant advantages such as potential low price of materials, easy processing, large-area film formation, designability of molecular and film properties, light weight, and flexibility. It can be widely used in the construction of power stations, buildings, ecological roofs, and urban street lights.
Figure 1. Thin Film Solar Cell
- Solar power stations: The construction of solar power stations in areas with sufficient sunlight and underdeveloped power grids can effectively reduce power supply costs. Thin film solar cells can construct large-area power generation components, improve photoelectric conversion efficiency, and reduce manufacturing costs.
- Green roof: Combining thin-film solar cells with buildings to make battery curtain walls and green roofs can solve and supplement the problems encountered in civil electricity. In household energy consumption, electricity for air conditioning in summer, bathing electricity in winter, and electricity in office buildings can all be effectively solved by solar power generation. And the color of the panel also meets the requirements of architectural aesthetics.
- Solar street light: Street lights in cities not only consume electricity, but the investment and maintenance costs for the erection and burying of their lighting systems are also huge. The use of thin film solar panels does not require long-distance transmission lines, nor does it require huge power generation equipment. This significantly reduces the cost of power transmission, and can also solve the problem of difficulty in erecting power transmission facilities in remote areas.
- Greening irrigation power: Greening irrigation requires the use of pumping motors, but the operation of pumping motors requires a huge amount of electricity, which increases the cost of greening in desert areas. Thin film solar cells can effectively power the pumps, greatly reduce investment costs, and realize desert oasis.
- Remote monitoring of industrial instruments: The remote monitoring system generally transfers information by setting up a large number of sensors, meters and other data acquisition equipment on the spot, and then connecting the data acquisition equipment with a remote computer through a bus. The computer processes the virtual signal and converts it into visual information, so as to achieve the purpose of remote monitoring. In this link, the normal operation of industrial instruments and the transmission of data require the support of a large amount of electrical energy. Thin film solar cells are mainly used for the normal operation of industrial instruments and the transmission of information. Thin film solar cells are mainly composed of four parts: battery panels, controllers, batteries and inverters. Solar panels generate electricity in the form of "light-heat-electricity" or "light-electricity", and some of them are directly used for instrument operation after converting the voltage through the inverter. The surplus power is stored in the battery, and the voltage is converted into the voltage required by the industrial instrument through the inverter when the power cannot be generated at night, and the power transmission line of the industrial instrument is connected with the inverter to realize the power supply to the industrial instrument. This can greatly reduce the operating costs of production and reduce the generation of pollutants.
- G.H. Bauer. Thin film solar cell materials [J]. Applied Surface Science, 1993, 70(2), 650-659.