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Solar Cell, Solar Module & Solar Array Test

Testing Solar Cells

The goal of achieving ever increasing solar cell efficiency and reduced cost demands accurate, repeatable, fast, and reliable test results. The research, design, and development work necessary to achieving superior performing, highly manufacturable solar cells, modules and arrays requires high performance test equipment. Agilent Power Supplies, Switch/Measurement units, Electronic Loads, and DMMs provide superior capability for measuring the I-V curve performance of cells, modules, and arrays in both forward and reverse polarities, in full radiation, and in shadow (darkness). Agilent´s products are well suited for making on the bench and rapid production line solar device measurements.

Producing quality solar modules and arrays in a production environment requires the characterization and sorting of solar cells. Matching the I-V performance of solar cells destined for installation in a common module or array is necessary for achieving optimum output power capability. Maximizing productivity and module or array performance means making fast, accurate and reliable measurements.

Measuring the forward I-V performance of a solar cell, module, or array involves loading the device with a constant voltage, varying the voltage in increments from zero to the device open circuit voltage (Voc), and measuring the output current. Zero volts corresponds to the maximum available short circuit current (Isc). At Voc, the measured output current of the device is zero. Measuring the reverse I-V performance of a shadowed (dark) solar device requires the application, in increments, of a reverse polarity voltage.

For more information: Solar Cell and Module Testing Application Note

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