On the importance of considering the incident sprectrum when measuring the outdoor performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Conventional measurement practice for the outdoor performance evaluation of solar cells does not make use of the complete spectrum, relying instead on the total irradiance as measured, say, with a pyranometer. In this paper it is shown that this can result in significant errors for solar cells having wide band gaps, in particular, for amorphous silicon solar cells. Two effects are investigated. The first relates to quantifying the typical errors associated with instantaneous measurements; what one might term the calibration of devices. The second relates to quantifying the impact of neglecting variations in the spectrum on the estimation of the annual energy production. It is observed that the fraction of the spectrum falling in the spectrally useful range for amorphous silicon can vary by as much as +10% to −15% with respect to standard test conditions at the test site used in this study, which translates directly into performance variations of similar magnitude. The relationship between changes due to spectral variations as opposed to variations in device temperature is also investigated. The results show that there is a strong case for investigating spectral effects more thoroughly, and explicitly including the measurement of the spectral distribution in all outdoor performance testing.
LanguageEnglish
Pages460-466
Number of pages7
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Fingerprint

Amorphous Silicon
Amorphous silicon
amorphous silicon
Solar Cells
solar cells
Solar cells
pyranometers
Silicon solar cells
Spectral Distribution
Irradiance
Energy gap
Band Gap
falling
irradiance
Calibration
Annual
Instantaneous
Performance Evaluation
Testing
Vary

Keywords

  • amorphous silicon
  • photovoltaic devices
  • incident spectrum
  • solar cells

Cite this

@article{50f9439903fb4527a2087a51b32560da,
title = "On the importance of considering the incident sprectrum when measuring the outdoor performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices",
abstract = "Conventional measurement practice for the outdoor performance evaluation of solar cells does not make use of the complete spectrum, relying instead on the total irradiance as measured, say, with a pyranometer. In this paper it is shown that this can result in significant errors for solar cells having wide band gaps, in particular, for amorphous silicon solar cells. Two effects are investigated. The first relates to quantifying the typical errors associated with instantaneous measurements; what one might term the calibration of devices. The second relates to quantifying the impact of neglecting variations in the spectrum on the estimation of the annual energy production. It is observed that the fraction of the spectrum falling in the spectrally useful range for amorphous silicon can vary by as much as +10{\%} to −15{\%} with respect to standard test conditions at the test site used in this study, which translates directly into performance variations of similar magnitude. The relationship between changes due to spectral variations as opposed to variations in device temperature is also investigated. The results show that there is a strong case for investigating spectral effects more thoroughly, and explicitly including the measurement of the spectral distribution in all outdoor performance testing.",
keywords = "amorphous silicon , photovoltaic devices , incident spectrum , solar cells",
author = "D.G. Infield",
year = "2004",
doi = "10.1088/0957-0233/15/2/021",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "460--466",
journal = "Measurement Science and Technology",
issn = "0957-0233",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - On the importance of considering the incident sprectrum when measuring the outdoor performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices

AU - Infield, D.G.

PY - 2004

Y1 - 2004

N2 - Conventional measurement practice for the outdoor performance evaluation of solar cells does not make use of the complete spectrum, relying instead on the total irradiance as measured, say, with a pyranometer. In this paper it is shown that this can result in significant errors for solar cells having wide band gaps, in particular, for amorphous silicon solar cells. Two effects are investigated. The first relates to quantifying the typical errors associated with instantaneous measurements; what one might term the calibration of devices. The second relates to quantifying the impact of neglecting variations in the spectrum on the estimation of the annual energy production. It is observed that the fraction of the spectrum falling in the spectrally useful range for amorphous silicon can vary by as much as +10% to −15% with respect to standard test conditions at the test site used in this study, which translates directly into performance variations of similar magnitude. The relationship between changes due to spectral variations as opposed to variations in device temperature is also investigated. The results show that there is a strong case for investigating spectral effects more thoroughly, and explicitly including the measurement of the spectral distribution in all outdoor performance testing.

AB - Conventional measurement practice for the outdoor performance evaluation of solar cells does not make use of the complete spectrum, relying instead on the total irradiance as measured, say, with a pyranometer. In this paper it is shown that this can result in significant errors for solar cells having wide band gaps, in particular, for amorphous silicon solar cells. Two effects are investigated. The first relates to quantifying the typical errors associated with instantaneous measurements; what one might term the calibration of devices. The second relates to quantifying the impact of neglecting variations in the spectrum on the estimation of the annual energy production. It is observed that the fraction of the spectrum falling in the spectrally useful range for amorphous silicon can vary by as much as +10% to −15% with respect to standard test conditions at the test site used in this study, which translates directly into performance variations of similar magnitude. The relationship between changes due to spectral variations as opposed to variations in device temperature is also investigated. The results show that there is a strong case for investigating spectral effects more thoroughly, and explicitly including the measurement of the spectral distribution in all outdoor performance testing.

KW - amorphous silicon

KW - photovoltaic devices

KW - incident spectrum

KW - solar cells

U2 - 10.1088/0957-0233/15/2/021

DO - 10.1088/0957-0233/15/2/021

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 460

EP - 466

JO - Measurement Science and Technology

T2 - Measurement Science and Technology

JF - Measurement Science and Technology

SN - 0957-0233

IS - 2

ER -