The controversy over the proper expression for the theoretical maximum conversion efficiency of solar devices is resolved. The correct expression, ηmax = 1 −4/3 (To/Ts), relates to the maximum work that can be done by a device which accepts blackbody radiation at Ts and rejects heat to the ambient at To. A general bilinear dissipation equation for solar devices is derived. The effect of back-radiation is considered, and the efficiency decrease due to atmospheric scattering is determined.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.