Solar energy is currently one of the main sources of clean energy and its importance has been growing up steadily in the last decades. Computational simulation of wave propagation in solar cells is crucial for the development of new photovoltaic devices. Modern solar cells embed complex multi-layer geometries that must be taken into account properly in numerical simulations. The new generation of parallel computers provides the necessary computational power to handle realistic three-dimensional wave propagation phenomena in complex multi-layer photovoltaic devices.

Nevertheless, numerical methods must be revisited entirely to take full advantage of such new parallel facilities. The PHOTOM project aims at developing, analysing and implementing innovative multiscale finite element numerical methods method for wave propagation models in grating media motivated by its use in the simulation of photovoltaic solar cells.

The PHOTOM project corresponds to a two-year international collaboration between universities and research laboratories from Brazil, Chile and France. Contribution of each participating institution are the following:

  • LNCC - National Laboratory for Scientific Computing, Brazil: The development and the numerical analysis of Multiscale Hybrid-Mixed (MHM) methods for wave models, and their numerical validations on parallel computers;
  • Inria, France: The development and the numerical analysis of Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) methods to be adopted as second level solvers in the MHM framework, and their numerical validations;
  • UDEC - Universidad de Concepciòn, Chile: To propose photovoltaic cell benchmarks used to validate numerical simulations, and a posteriori error estimators used to drive space adaptivity;
  • PUCV - Pontifícia Universidad Católica, Chile: The development and the numerical analysis of the MHM method for wave models, and the production of numerical comparison between the MHM method and other hybrid finite element methods, as the Hybrid-Discontinuous Galerkin (HDG) method.