# Photovoltaic cell bias?

How does voltage bias affect a photovoltaic cell? I'm receiving conflicting opinions online, with some saying that photovoltaic mode is entered only with forward bias, some saying reverse bias, and some saying no bias. Furthermore, is there a breakdown voltage for photovoltaic cells? The Shockley equation as I understand it ($I = I_0(e^{(eV/k_BT)} – 1) – I_p$) physically cannot tend to negative infinity as it's an exponential equation.

Thanks!

• Interesting question. I don't know the answer. But it occurs to me that people might write better answers if you can add a little information about why you want to know. I mean, maybe you are just curious, or maybe you have some kind of specific application in mind. – mkeith Dec 30 '16 at 18:24
• I'm just trying to understand the theory with no applications in mind, if that helps. – ThirtyOneTwentySeven Dec 30 '16 at 20:03