A Combined Irradiance-Transmittance Solar Spectrum and Its Application to Photovoltaic Efficiency Calculations

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Science  11 May 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4393, pp. 611-613
DOI: 10.1126/science.204.4393.611-a


SOLTRAN is a flexible computer model for the direct solar beam intensity spectrum at the earth's surface. It has been derived by combining the extra-terrestrial solar spectrum with the atmospheric transmittance spectrum. Application of SOLTRAN to the calculation of the potential efficiency of photovoltaic cells demonstrates the effect of atmospheric absorption bands. These bands prevent unequivocal assignment of optimum energy gap values.