Characterisation of Solar Cells

In the Laboratory headed by Prof. Antonio Luque, in frames of the Mega-grant for researches “Development of new generation photovoltaics based on materials with an intermediate band”, the research team provides:

  • metrological support of research works carried out;
  • investigation of spectral dependencies of the external quantum yield, of reflection and transmission spectra, of SC I-V characteristics at illumination in the wide temperature range and irradiances;

  • study of radiation transfer processes in GaInP/GaAs/Ge MJ SC structures and current flow mechanisms at high levels of light pumping and at low temperatures with using also electroluminescent methods.

 

     The team activity is centered in the field of developing specialized procedures and experimental means for solving research and metrological problems in creating solar cells (SCs) of different types and structures. In frames of the Project, the team is solving the following problems:

  1. Support of the system for metrological accompanying the research works:

    • elaboration of methods for simulating SC operation modes with estimating adequacy of the approaches used;

    • investigation of accuracy of simulating and measuring equipment characteristics;

    • provision of traceability of measurement results to the State standards;

    • estimations of power-productivity of PV modules and solar power plants for different climatic zones;

    • estimations of structure radiation tolerance of SCs and their rated lifetime in dependence on application conditions;

    • development of PVCs for standardizing;

    • spectral and radiometric measurements of irradiance from different sources.

 

  1. Provision of measuring demands:

    • investigation of PVC spectral characteristics:

    • SC I-V characteristic measurements in АМ1.5, 1000 W/m2, 25 оС conditions;

    • I-V measurements of SCs converting 5000x concentrated sunlight;

    • investigation of PV parameters in the temperature range of -190 - +100ºC;

    • measurements of coefficients of luminescent coupling between photo-active layers;

    • investigation of MJ SC I-V characteristics in conditions the irradiance of spectral density being varied.

 

  1. Research works:

    • search for prospects in increasing concentrator SC efficiency and causes of probable limitations appearing due to losses in converting high density light fluxes;

    • study of radiation transfer processes in multilayer GaInP/GaAs/Ge SC structures and of current flow mechanisms at high light pumping levels and low temperatures;

    • study of GaInP/GaAs/Ge MJ SC structure I-V characteristics at high temperatures;

    • calculation and simulation of concentrating optics elements;

    • investigation of radiative degradation of SCs under damaging high energy particles action;

    • electroluminescent investigations.

 

The following research and testing equipment is at the disposal of the team:

  1. A set for investigating spectral characteristics of MJ SCs and photo-receivers and spectral dependences of reflectance and transmittance of optical materials in the wavelength range of 300-2200nm.

  2. A measuring set on the base of a sunlight simulator of continuous burning (AM0, AM1.5 spectra) with a system for measuring I-V characteristics and with an equipment for thermal stabilization of tested specimens.

  3. Pulsed sunlight simulator with a system for measuring SC I-V characteristics in the illumination range up to 5000x concentrated sunlight (the operating region is 20 – 100µm, AM0, AM1.5 spectra);

  4. Four-lamp pulsed sunlight simulator for controlling SC I-V characteristics at varied radiation spectral composition and in the illumination range of up to 3000x concentrated sunlight.

  5. High-speed spectral-radiometric system for the wavelength range of 250-1650nm to control the radiation flux density and spectral composition in the operating zone of sunlight simulators (including pulsed ones) at outdoor measurements.

  6. Optical stand for measuring spectral dependencies of the specular/diffusion reflection factors.

  7. Equipment for recording I-V characteristics.

  8. Cryo-chamber for low temperature measurements.

  9. System with a sun-tracker and a set of actinometrical equipment for investigating SC characteristics and for carrying out calibration events in outdoor conditions.

 

Software means:

  1. A set of software means for theoretical simulation and analysis of characteristics of concentrating system optical elements and semiconductor SCs:

    • a software set for optimizing Fresnel lens (FL) profile and for calculating their optical-power characteristics with accounting for technological and operational factors;

    • a software set for calculating of optical-power characteristics of sunlight concentrating systems based on FLs as initial concentrators and on different type secondary optical elements.

  1. A set of software means for theoretical simulation of processes of photo-EMF generation in semiconductor SCs, which includes modules for:

- simulating radiation propagation in a multilayer structure;

- calculating collection coefficients (analytical one);

- calculating collection coefficients (numerical one);

- calculating spectral dependences of the external and internal quantum yield of photoresponce, reflection and transmission factors;

- calculating photo-currents;

- simulating luminescent coupling effects;

- simulating processes of appearance and annealing of radiation defects.

3. A set of software means for theoretical simulation of SC I-V characteristics, which includes modules for:

- constructing distributed equivalent circuits;

- simulating I-V characteristics with using three-dimensional equivalent circuits.

Testing equipment:

  1. electron accelerator ЭЛУ 4 (3-4MeV);

  2. installation of accelerated photo-induced degradation;

  3. installation of radiation heating УРАН-1 on the base of powerful xenon lamp of constant burning and of ellipsoidal reflector.

 

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Installation for spectral characteristics (external quantum efficiency, reflectance and transmittance spectra) measurements of MJ SCs

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Four-lamps flash tester for Multijunction solar cell characterization under variable spectral irradiance (top) and tailored spectrum in comparison with AM1.5D Low AOD (bottom).

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Optical scheme of pulsed solar simulator in the option is for deep irradiation variations within three wavebands. In practice this configuration was utilized at light coupling efficiency determination within MJ SCs.

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System for UV-VIS-IR spectrum irradiance measurements in steady-state and flash solar simulators (l=250 – 1650 nm , tmin= 1 msec )

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Cause-effect diagram for analyzing the uncertainty in measuring the short circuit current for solar cells and PV modules

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Concentrator PV module with Fresnel lenses and Multijunction Solar Cell with Intermediate IR Reflector (“GaInP/GaInAs/DBR/Ge TJ +Si SJ” solar cells) 

 

 Papers in journals

  1. V.M.Andreev, A.A.Soluyanov, M.Z.Shvarts “Development of Lens Concentration Systems with Secondary Optical Elements”, AIP Conf. Proc., 2010, v.1277, pp. 105-108, ISSN: 0094-243X ISBN: 978-0-7354-0827-2. Impact factor 0.136.

  2. V.M.Emelyanov, N.A.Kalyuzhniy, S.A.Mintairov, M.Z.Shvarts, V.M.Lantratov “Multijunction GaInP/GaInAs/Ge solar cells with Bragg reflectors”, Semiconductors, v.44, 12, 2010, pp. 1600-1605.

  3. V.P.Khvostikov, A.S.Vlasov, S.V.Sorokina, N.S.Potapovich, N.Kh.Timoshina, M.Z.Shvarts, V.M.Andreev “High-efficiency (η = 39.6%, AM 1.5D) cascade of photoconverters in solar splitting systems”, 2011, Semiconductors, v.45, 6 pp. 792-797.

  4. M.Z.Shvarts, E.S.Aronova, V.M.Emelyanov, N.A.Kalyuzhnyy, V.M.Lantratov, S.A.Mintairov, A.A.Soluyanov, N.Kh.Timoshina “Multijunction Solar Cell with Intermediate IR Reflector”. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV-8), April 16-18, 2012, Toledo, Spain, AIP Conf. Proc., v.1477, pp. 28-31.

  5. E.S.Aronova, V.M.Emelianov, M.Z.Shwarz “Analysis of power efficiency of concentrator photovoltaic modules based on solar cells with GaInP/Ga(In)As/Ge structure in Various Geographic Regions”, 2012, Appl. Sol. Energy, v.48, 3, pp. 204-211.

  6. A.S.Vlasov, V.P.Khvostikov, L.B.Karlina, S.V.Sorokina, N.S.Potapovich, M.Z.Shvarts, N.K.Timoshina, V.M. Lantratov, S.A.Mintairov, N.A.Kalyuzhnyi, E.P.Marukhina, V.M.Andreev “Spectral-splitting concentrator photovoltaic modules based on AlGaAs/GaAs/GaSb and GaInP/InGaAs(P) solar cells”, 2013, Tech. Phys., v.58, 7 pp. 1034-1038.

  7. M.Z.Shvarts, M.A.Mintairov, V.M.Emelyanov, V.V.Evstropov, V.M.Lantratov, N.Kh.Timoshina “Method For Direct Measurements Of Luminescent Coupling Efficiency In Concentrator MJ SCs”, Proc. of the 9th Int. Conf. on Concentrating Photovoltaics, 15-17 April 2013, Miyazaki, Japan, AIP Conf. Proc., v.1556, pp. 147-153.

  8. S.A.Bogomolova, Yu.E.Lukashov, M.Z.Shvarts, «Estimate of the Expanded Uncertainty in the Result of Measuring the Short Circuit Current of Thin-Film Photovoltaic Modules», 2014, Meas. Tech., v.56, 11 pp. 1209-1215.

  9. G.G.Untila, T.N.Kost, A.B.Chebotareva, M.B.Zaks, A.M.Sitnikov, O.I.Solodukha, M.Z.Shvarts “Concentrator bifacial Ag-free LGCells”, Solar Energy, 2013, pp. 1-7.

  10. T.Sogabe, A.Ogura, C.Y.Hung, V.Evstropov, M.Mintairov, M.Shvarts, Y.Okada “Experimental characterization and self-consistent modeling of luminescence coupling effect in III-V multijunction solar cells”, 2013, Appl. Phys. Lett., v.103, 26 ArtNo: #263907.

  11. M.A. Mintairov, V.V. Evstropov, N.A. Kalyuzhnyy, S.A. Mintairov, M.Z. Shvarts, N.Kh. Timoshina, R.A. Salii, V.M. Lantratov “A subtractive method for obtaining dark current–voltage characteristic and its types for the residual (non-generating) part of the multi-junction solar cell”, 2014, Semiconductors, v.45, 5, pp 653-658.

  12. G.G.Untila, T.N.Kost, A.B.Chebotareva, M.B.Zaks, A.M.Sitnikov, O.I.Solodukha, M.Z.Shvarts “Bifacial concentrator Ag-free crystalline n-type Si solar cell”, 2014, Prog. Photovoltaics, p. 1-11.

 

Papers on conferences

  1. E.S. Aronova, M.Z. Shvarts, A.A. Soluyanov “The Effect of Temperature on the Efficiency of Concentrator PV Modules with MJ SC”, Proceedings of the 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 7-12, 2009, pp. 806-811, ISBN: 978-1-4244-2950-9, ISSN: 0160-8371.

  2. M.Z.Shvarts, V.M. Emelyanov, N.Kh.Timoshina, V.M.Lantratov “Nonlinearity Effects in III-V Multi-Junction Solar Cells”, Proceedings of the 34th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 7-12, 2009, pp. 1412-1417, ISBN: 978-1-4244-2950-9, ISSN: 0160-8371.

  3. M.Z.Shvarts, A.A.Soluyanov “Development and testing of high concentration flat-plate Fresnel lenses”, Proceedings of SPIE 2009 “Optics and Photonics” "Nonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration VI", 2-6 August 2009, San Diego, USA, paper 7423-14.

  4. M.Z.Shvarts, A.A.Soluyanov “Improved Concentration Capabilities of Flat-plate Fresnel Lenses”, Adv. Sci. Technol., v.74, pp. 188-195.

  5. M.Z.Shvarts, A.A.Soluyanov, N.Kh.Timoshina, O.I.Chosta, “Postradiation light exposure for photoinjection annealing at solar cell irradiation tests”, Proceedings of the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition/5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, 6-10 September 2010, Valencia, Spain, pp. 877-881.

  6. E.S. Aronova, M.Z. Shvarts “Cost-effective off-grid hybrid (PV-Wind-Diesel) systems”, Proceedings of the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition/5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, 6-10 September 2010, Valencia, Spain, pp. 5194-5198.

  7. V.M. Emelyanov, N.A. Kalyuzhnyy, M.A. Mintairov, S.A. Mintairov, M.Z. Shvarts and V.M. Lantratov “Distributed resistance effects simulation in concentrator MJ SCs using 3D-network model”, Proceedings of the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition/5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, 6-10 September 2010, Valencia, Spain, pp. 406-411.

  8. V.M. Andreev, V.M. Emelyanov, O.I. Chesta, V.M. Lantratov, M.Z. Shvarts, N.Kh. Timoshina “Radiation degradation of multijunction III-V solar cells and prediction of their lifetime”, Proceedings of the 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 24-28 September 2012, Frankfurt, Germany, pp. 169-174.

  9. M.A. Mintairov, V.V. Evstropov, N.A. Kalyuzhnyy, S.A. Mintairov, V.D. Rumyantsev, N.K. Timoshina, M.Z. Shvarts, V.M. Lantratov “Determination of Series Resistance of Multijunction Solar Cells by Using their Photoelectric Characteristic”, Proceedings of the 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 24-28 September 2012, Frankfurt, Germany, pp. 459-463.

  10. V.M. Emelyanov, O.I. Chesta, N.A. Kalyuzhnyy, V.M. Lantratov, S.A. Mintairov, M.Z. Shvarts, N.Kh. Timoshina “Simulation of Photo-induced Annealing of Radiation Defects in III-V MJ SCs”, Proceedings of the 28th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 30 September – 04 October 2013, Paris, France pp. 536-539.

  11. S.A. Bogomolova, A.S. Gudovskikh and M.Z. Shvarts, "Evaluation of the Uncertainty in Measuring IV Characteristics of the Thin-Film Modules", Proceedings of the 28th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 30 Sep-4 Oct 2013, Paris, France, pp. 3527-3531.