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Title: Identification and Analysis of Partial Shading Breakdown Sites in CuInxGa(1-x)Se2 Modules

Abstract

In this paper, CuInxGa(1-x) (CIGS) mini-modules are stressed under reverse bias, resembling partial shading conditions, to predict and characterize where failures occur. Partial shading can cause permanent damage in the form of 'wormlike' defects on thin-film modules due to thermal runaway. This results in module-scale power losses. We have used dark lock-in thermography (DLIT) to spatially observe localized heating when reverse-bias breakdown occurs on various CIGS mini-modules. For better understanding of how and where these defects originated and propagated, we have developed techniques where the current is limited during reverse-bias stressing. This allows for DLIT-based detection and detailed studying of the region where breakdown is initiated before thermal runaway leads to permanent damage. Statistics of breakdown sites using current-limited conditions has allowed for reasonable identification of the as-grown defects where permanent breakdown will likely originate. Scanning electron microscope results and wormlike defect analysis show that breakdown originates in defects such as small pits, craters, or cracks in the CIGS layer, and the wormlike defects propagate near the top CIGS interface.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Solar Energy Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1426646
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1549003
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5K00-70651
Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; EE0007141
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Solar Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 161; Journal Issue: Feb. 2018; Journal ID: ISSN 0038-092X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; imaging; reliability; accelerated aging; CIGS; thermal analysis; breakdown voltage

Citation Formats

Palmiotti, Elizabeth, Johnston, Steven, Gerber, Andreas, Guthrey, Harvey L., Rockett, Angus, Mansfield, Lorelle M, Silverman, Timothy J., and Al-Jassim, Mowafak M. Identification and Analysis of Partial Shading Breakdown Sites in CuInxGa(1-x)Se2 Modules. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2017.12.019.
Palmiotti, Elizabeth, Johnston, Steven, Gerber, Andreas, Guthrey, Harvey L., Rockett, Angus, Mansfield, Lorelle M, Silverman, Timothy J., & Al-Jassim, Mowafak M. Identification and Analysis of Partial Shading Breakdown Sites in CuInxGa(1-x)Se2 Modules. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2017.12.019
Palmiotti, Elizabeth, Johnston, Steven, Gerber, Andreas, Guthrey, Harvey L., Rockett, Angus, Mansfield, Lorelle M, Silverman, Timothy J., and Al-Jassim, Mowafak M. Wed . "Identification and Analysis of Partial Shading Breakdown Sites in CuInxGa(1-x)Se2 Modules". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2017.12.019. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1426646.
@article{osti_1426646,
title = {Identification and Analysis of Partial Shading Breakdown Sites in CuInxGa(1-x)Se2 Modules},
author = {Palmiotti, Elizabeth and Johnston, Steven and Gerber, Andreas and Guthrey, Harvey L. and Rockett, Angus and Mansfield, Lorelle M and Silverman, Timothy J. and Al-Jassim, Mowafak M.},
abstractNote = {In this paper, CuInxGa(1-x) (CIGS) mini-modules are stressed under reverse bias, resembling partial shading conditions, to predict and characterize where failures occur. Partial shading can cause permanent damage in the form of 'wormlike' defects on thin-film modules due to thermal runaway. This results in module-scale power losses. We have used dark lock-in thermography (DLIT) to spatially observe localized heating when reverse-bias breakdown occurs on various CIGS mini-modules. For better understanding of how and where these defects originated and propagated, we have developed techniques where the current is limited during reverse-bias stressing. This allows for DLIT-based detection and detailed studying of the region where breakdown is initiated before thermal runaway leads to permanent damage. Statistics of breakdown sites using current-limited conditions has allowed for reasonable identification of the as-grown defects where permanent breakdown will likely originate. Scanning electron microscope results and wormlike defect analysis show that breakdown originates in defects such as small pits, craters, or cracks in the CIGS layer, and the wormlike defects propagate near the top CIGS interface.},
doi = {10.1016/j.solener.2017.12.019},
journal = {Solar Energy},
number = Feb. 2018,
volume = 161,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Table 1 Table 1: Statistics summarizing predicted breakdown sites.

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Works referencing / citing this record:

Characterization and modeling of reverse‐bias breakdown in Cu(In,Ga)Se 2 photovoltaic devices
journal, June 2019

  • Guthrey, Harvey; Nardone, Marco; Johnston, Steve
  • Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, Vol. 27, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/pip.3168

Impact of Buffer Layer Process and Na on Shunt Paths of Monolithic Series-connected CIGSSe Thin Film Solar Cells
journal, March 2019


A full overview of international standards assessing the long-term stability of perovskite solar cells
journal, January 2018

  • Holzhey, Philippe; Saliba, Michael
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol. 6, Issue 44
  • DOI: 10.1039/c8ta06950f

Reliability implications of partial shading on CIGS photovoltaic devices: A literature review
journal, December 2019

  • Bakker, Klaas; Weeber, Arthur; Theelen, Mirjam
  • Journal of Materials Research, Vol. 34, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1557/jmr.2019.373

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