A simple method for quantifying spectral impacts on multi-junction solar cells
Review articleOpen access

AbstractA method to quantify spectral effects on the electric parameters of multi-junction solar cells is presented. The method is based on measuring the short circuit current of at least two monitor cells. Ideally these monitor cells have the same spectral responses as the subcells in the investigated multi-junction solar cell. In contrast to the subcells, the current of the individual monitor cells can be measured separately. This allows conclusions to be drawn about the spectral impact on the current mismatch of the multi-junction solar cell. A spectrometric evaluation method is then applied.The method has been tested experimentally with three concentrator modules using III–V triple-junction solar cells. These modules were measured outdoors for several months under variable solar spectral conditions. In parallel, the IV curves of the modules and the current of two component cells were measured. A spectral parameter Z was derived from the monitor cell current signals, which was correlated to the short circuit current and the fill factor of the modules. A linear correlation was found between Z and the normalized short circuit current of the concentrator modules. Translation equations were derived from the linear correlation. These enable the calculation of a module’s short circuit current under any spectral conditions. In particular, the short circuit currents of the modules were derived for direct normal irradiance of 850 W/m2 and spectral conditions corresponding to the AM1.5d low AOD spectrum. This is an important step towards comparing the performance of modules which show strong spectral sensitivity. Future rating methods can benefit from the presented simple method for quantifying spectral impacts on multi-junction solar cells. Furthermore, the method can be of interest for tuning the spectrum of pulsed solar simulators.

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