Rapid PV-Module Component Testing and Quantification of Performance Gains

© Fraunhofer CSP

The »levelized cost of electricity« (LCOE, €/kWh) of photovoltaic modules is determined by the overall costs of the components such as connectors or encapsulants – but also by their contribution to the total generated current and their reliabilility.

Besides the direct current contribution of the cells, there is also a contribution of the back-sheet and the connectors to the total current due to internal back-reflection. Another example is the improved angular dependence of the light transmission of anti-reflection coatings on glass. These effects improve the »cell-to-module« power characteristics thus decreasing the LCOE. On the other side, individual components can also cause electrical and optical losses thus reducing the power output.

The team »Electrical Characterization«, group »Solar Cell Diagnostics«, has developed a new rapid module component test which results in a quantitative estimate of individual contributions to the module performance. This new approach complements other methods at Fraunhofer CSP that are frequently applied for the loss analysis of individual solar cells using an automated cell tester or a LED-solar-simulator with adjustable light spectrum.