Solar cell efficiency decreases as its temperature increases. Therefore, it is necessary to design a thermally optimal solar
cell carrier that will maintain a minimal solar cell temperature. To achieve this optimal solar cell carrier design, a finite-element
analysis model of the solar cell on carrier was developed. This numerical model was experimentally calibrated
against a known design, in which the average solar cell temperature was determined by examining the shift in the open
circuit voltage. This allowed us to explore the relationship between the carrier geometry and the average solar cell
temperature. That is, the solar cell carrier is characterized by two independent thermal resistances: the uniform flow
thermal resistance, and the thermal spreading resistance. As the copper thickness was increased, the uniform flow
resistance acted to raise the cell temperature while the spreading thermal resistance decreased the cell temperature.
Therefore, when the carrier geometry minimized the thermal resistances, it was found that the minimum solar cell
temperature was achieved at a copper thickness between 1.5 and 3 mm depending on the surface area of the carrier. This
optimized carrier design reduced the average solar cell temperature by 16 °C, which corresponds to an increase of 0.8%
in cell efficiency at 1666 suns as compared to the original design used to experimentally calibrate the numerical model.