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Title: New techniques for the measurement of second and third generation photovoltaics
Author: Pravettoni, Mauro
ISNI:       0000 0004 2710 2234
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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New generations of photovoltaics (PV) have demonstrated a significant cost-reduction with respect to c-Si wafer-based modules. Though second (thin-film) and third generation PV (high-intensity, low-cost) are already in the PV market, the preparation of standard procedures for their characterization is still ongoing. This work was developed by the author in order to extend some of the existing characterization techniques to a set of three different emerging technologies: multi-junction thin-film modules, concentrator PV cells and luminescent solar concentrators. An original method for the spectral response measurement of large area thin-film multijunction modules is presented in the first part: the method is validated with several examples. A basic theoretical approach is also presented to propose innovative explanations of measurement artefacts that are observed in the literature. In the second part of the thesis, the setup, characterization and classification of a high intensity pulsed solar simulator for concentrator PV cells is illustrated. A new procedure for the preparation of a set of filtered reference cells for the irradiance detection at high intensities is also presented, providing an original tool for the verification of the linearity of these devices towards irradiance, which is usually assumed in the literature. In the third part the performance characterization of high-efficiency luminescent solar concentrators is presented: a simple ray-tracing model and its experimental validation, the impact of backside diffusive reflector on the performance of this kind of devices are mainly highlighted. The work was developed in support of the activities of the European Solar Test Installation laboratory of the European Commission, a centre of reference for PV testing.
Supervisor: Barnham, Keith ; Chatten, Amanda ; Kenny, Robert Sponsor: European Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral