Research to Business
Offer: 692

Software-based optimization of solar cells

The "Energy Yield Calculator" calculates energy yields of new solar cell and solar module structures and thus accelerates their technical development.

Illustration of the energy yield increase after optimization of a bifacial tandem solar cell using the Energy Yield Calculator from KIT. (Image: Schmager / KIT)

Photovoltaic systems as renewable power sources are more present than ever. Economic and efficient product development is essential for manufacturers and users. The simulation software "Energy Yield Calculator" makes an early contribution to the efficient development of new plants and component structures.

State of the art

Existing software products enable optimization with regard to efficiency under standard test conditions in the laboratory. A special challenge in solar cell development is the consideration of different climatic conditions, as the optimal component structure can differ significantly under test and real conditions. Software that quickly delivers holistic results under real climatic conditions is not yet available.


A team of researchers from KIT has therefore developed a software, which allows numerically supported energy yield calculations of new solar cell and solar module structures. Based on various material data and information about the component structure, the software calculates the performance of a specific architecture variant. Software users receive optical and electrical values of how well light is absorbed and converted into electricity. In addition, realistic irradiation conditions for a large number of locations in different climate zones are integrated into the software to optimize the structure depending on the location. The calculations take only a few seconds, so that different cell configurations can be repeatedly tested and structures can be optimized in a very short time.


The combination of analysis of optics, electrics and energy yield, the broad applicability to established crystalline silicon solar cells, thin-film solar cells and also new types of stacked solar cells as well as the consideration of real climatic conditions of diverse locations make the software solution unique. It also scores points for its calculation speed. The software is primarily aimed at companies in the photovoltaic sector: from manufacturers of solar cells and modules to plant manufacturers and photovoltaic power plant operators.

Options for companies

The Energy Yield Calculator offers valuable insights, already in the published open source version. With regard to individual adaptations or extensions, KIT can be contacted.

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Your contact person for this offer

Birgit Schulze
Innovation Manager Mobility and Information
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation and Relations Management (IRM)
Phone: +49 721 608-28460
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