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Title: Measurement system for fast power and energy rating of photovoltaic devices
Author: Bliss, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 5327
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis presents a new type of solar simulator and new measurement methods that allow for fast power rating of photovoltaic devices and for fast performance measurements for energy rating and energy yield predictions indoors under controlled, and more realistically simulated outdoor conditions. A novel indoor measurement system for photovoltaic device characterisation based on light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the light sources is described. The solar simulator is capable of reproducing spectral changes seen in natural sunlight, with its intricacies of variable air mass and weather conditions, to a better match than previously possible. Furthermore, it allows measurements under varying light intensity and device temperature. The prototype LED-based solar simulator developed is characterised and its measurement quality is analysed. The system achieves a class BAA solar simulator classification with a class B spectral match, class A light intensity uniformity and a class A temporal stability. It is the first system of its kind that meets the standards of a solar simulator in spectral match to the standard sunlight spectrum and in terms of minimum light intensity. An uncertainty analysis shows that calibration uncertainty for crystalline silicon solar cells is 5% in maximum power with a 95.45% level of confidence. Recommendations for further versions of the solar simulator are given and show potential of reducing this uncertainty down to 2.9% across all measurement spectra (1.8% with a primary calibrated reference cell). A new method for automated power-rating of single- and multi-junction devices is developed. The method uses a unique spectral response measurement and fitting method. It eliminates the need of external measurement equipment for determining spectral response. A simulated characterisation of an amorphous silicon single- and double-junction solar cell show accuracy of better than 0.5% in maximum power. First measurements on the LED-based solar simulator show a measurement error of 4.5% in maximum power, which is due to a lack of measurement feedback of spectral output and measurement irradiance. The first three-dimensional performance matrix for use in photovoltaic energy rating is reported, utilising the LED-based solar simulator. Device characteristics are measured indoors under varying irradiance, temperature and spectrum. A measurement method is detailed and utilised on a crystalline and amorphous silicon solar cell. It allows for the first time a direct investigation of spectral effects on photovoltaic devices under controlled conditions. Results show that amorphous silicon devices are very sensitive to changes in spectrum. Thus, spectral effects should not be neglected in energy yield predictions for such devices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Photovoltaic ; Solar ; LED ; Solar simulator ; Characterisation ; Power rating ; Energy rating ; Performance