Research Papers

To Demonstrate the Potential Application of “Low Temperature and High Performance Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells Fabricated Using HWCVD” in Wireless Sensor Network: An Initial Research

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohit Agarwal, Amit Munjal

Department of Electronics and
Communication Engineering,
Thapar University,
Patiala 147004, Punjab, India

Rajiv Dusane

Semiconductor Thin Film and
Plasma Processing Laboratory,
Department of Metallurgical Engineering and
Materials Science,
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay,
Mumbai 400076, India

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received November 3, 2017; final manuscript received February 15, 2018; published online March 13, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Geoffrey T. Klise.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 140(4), 041002 (Mar 13, 2018) (5 pages) Paper No: SOL-17-1441; doi: 10.1115/1.4039427 History: Received November 03, 2017; Revised February 15, 2018

Wireless sensor network (WSN) is widely used in a variety of applications including habitat monitoring, military surveillance, environmental monitoring, scientific applications, etc. The major limitation of WSN is that sometimes it is not feasible to replace or recharge the battery once it gets fully exhausted and thus, it limits the lifetime of WSN. One of the possible solutions to overcome this limitation is to incorporate any energy harvesting device, which can use the alternative energy sources to charge the battery. However, the processing temperature and the performance of energy harvesting devices limit their applications. In this paper, low temperature and high performance single-sided silicon heterojunction (SHJ) solar cells are fabricated with 13% efficiency using hot-wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) method. This paper also describes an energy management model that successfully addresses the various issues in the existing energy harvesting models. In order to implement the proposed model, the results show that the high efficiency SHJ solar cells are best suitable candidate as an energy harvesting device that can be incorporated inside the node. The subsequent analysis shows that the consumed power per day by the node can be successfully recovered from the SHJ solar cells, if the sunlight is available only for 25 min in a day with 100 mW/cm2 intensity. This clearly indicates that the node's battery will remain fully charged if the above said condition is satisfied, which seems to be very feasible. Finally, one can conclude that the node functioning will remain active till the battery lifetime i.e., approximately 30 years for Li-ion battery.

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Fig. 1

The simplified block diagram of the proposed model

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Fig. 2

Wireless sensor network topology

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Fig. 3

(a) Schematic diagram of SHJ solar cell and (b) photograph of fabricated SHJ solar cell

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Fig. 4

Hot-wire chemical vapor deposition cluster tool used for deposition of various doped and undoped silicon layers to avoid cross contamination in the device fabrication

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Fig. 5

IV characteristics of single sided SHJ solar cells



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