Black silicon nanotextures offer significant optical performance improvements when applied to crystalline silicon solar cells. Coupled with conventional pyramidal textures, to create so–called hybrid black silicon, these benefits are shown to be further enhanced. Presented here is a comprehensive analysis of different variations of this texture, coupled with typical anti–reflectance schemes such as coated pyramids, with a view to the significance of this on subsequent, real–world, solar energy generation. The study uses an angle–resolved spectrophometry system to characterise and compare the optical properties of these surface textures in terms of reflectance versus wavelength and incident angle, with and without encapsulant layers. This analysis, coupled with time-resolved, location specific irradiance data, leads to a new figure-of-merit, the weighted reflectivity, with which to compare surface textures for use in solar cells. Weighted reflectivity for an encapsulated solar cell surface, averaged over a year, for a Southampton, UK, location is calculated to be 7.6% for hybrid black silicon, compared to 10.6% for traditional random pyramids with a thin film anti–reflective coating.

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