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Title: Chapter 1: Reliably Measuring the Performance of Emerging Photovoltaic Solar Cells

Abstract

Determining the power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells, especially those from new, emerging areas of technology, is important if advances in performance are to be made. However, although precise measurements are important, it is the accuracy of these types of measurements that can cause issues. Accurate measurements not only promote the development of new technology platforms, but they also enable comparisons with established technologies and allow assessments of advancements within the same field. This chapter provides insights into how measurements can be made with reasonable accuracy using both the components of the measuring system and a good protocol to acquire good data. The chapter discusses how to measure a calibrated lamp spectrum, determine a spectral mismatch factor, identify the correct reference cell and filter, define the illuminated active area, measure J-V curves to avoid any hysteresis effects, take note of sample degradation issues and avoid the temptation to artificially enhance efficiency data.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1410096
Report Number(s):
NREL/CH-5900-65920
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Book
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; power conversion efficiency; solar cells; device performance

Citation Formats

Rumbles, Garry, Reese, Matthew O, and Marshall, Ashley. Chapter 1: Reliably Measuring the Performance of Emerging Photovoltaic Solar Cells. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1039/9781782626749-00001.
Rumbles, Garry, Reese, Matthew O, & Marshall, Ashley. Chapter 1: Reliably Measuring the Performance of Emerging Photovoltaic Solar Cells. United States. doi:10.1039/9781782626749-00001.
Rumbles, Garry, Reese, Matthew O, and Marshall, Ashley. Wed . "Chapter 1: Reliably Measuring the Performance of Emerging Photovoltaic Solar Cells". United States. doi:10.1039/9781782626749-00001.
@article{osti_1410096,
title = {Chapter 1: Reliably Measuring the Performance of Emerging Photovoltaic Solar Cells},
author = {Rumbles, Garry and Reese, Matthew O and Marshall, Ashley},
abstractNote = {Determining the power conversion efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells, especially those from new, emerging areas of technology, is important if advances in performance are to be made. However, although precise measurements are important, it is the accuracy of these types of measurements that can cause issues. Accurate measurements not only promote the development of new technology platforms, but they also enable comparisons with established technologies and allow assessments of advancements within the same field. This chapter provides insights into how measurements can be made with reasonable accuracy using both the components of the measuring system and a good protocol to acquire good data. The chapter discusses how to measure a calibrated lamp spectrum, determine a spectral mismatch factor, identify the correct reference cell and filter, define the illuminated active area, measure J-V curves to avoid any hysteresis effects, take note of sample degradation issues and avoid the temptation to artificially enhance efficiency data.},
doi = {10.1039/9781782626749-00001},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Nov 08 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Nov 08 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Book:
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  • The authors have focused on the i-layer material in their efforts to improve in the conversion efficiency of a-Si:H solar cells. Reductions in the defect density has been also investigated from the viewpoints of extrinsic (impurities) and intrinsic effects. The main incorporated impurity in a-Si:H is oxygen, which affects the conversion efficiency of a-Si:H solar cells by increasing the defect density and its donorlike behavior. A unified relationship can be observed among the properties of intrinsic (pure) a-Si:H. The film deposition rate plays an essential role in controlling the properties. A lower or higher deposition rate results in a narrowermore » or wider bandgap, respectively. Therefore, the properties of a-Si:H can be controlled independent of the substrate temperature in a certain range by varying the film deposition rate. The controllability of the a-Si:H properties can be improved by applying vibrational/rotational energy to SiH{sub 4} molecules or related radicals by heating the source gas, and a-Si:H with the same properties as the best conventional one can be deposited at a lower substrate temperature and/or a higher film deposition rate. The highest conversion efficiency of 12% for an integrated a-Si solar cell submodule of 100 cm{sup 2} has been achieved by combining the high-quality i-layer and other technologies.« less
  • The open circuit voltage V{sub oc} and reference voltage V{sub ref}, defined as a measure of the dark current quality, have been studied for a large number of quantum well (QW) solar cells and homogeneous control cells.Samples were grown in the Al{sub x}Ga{sub 1{minus}x}As/GaAs and GaAs/In{sub y}Ga{sub 1{minus}y}As material systems. For both combinations, QW solar cells show a better voltage performance in V{sub oc} and V{sub ref} than one would expect from a single bandgap solar cell with the same effective absorption bandgap E{sub a}. For the AlGaAs/GaAs cells, V{sub oc} is related to structural parameters of the QW cellsmore » such as the well width L{sub W} and the Al fraction x. For the strained GaAs/InGaAs cells a relationship is found between V{sub ref} and the barrier width L{sub B}, which is a dominant parameter in determining strain relaxation and defect formation at a fixed In fraction.« less
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