Large-area reference solar cell for high precision measurements


German engineering company Mencke und Tegtmeyer GmbH (IB-MuT) has brought to the market a reference solar cell solution developed by researchers from the Institute for Solar Energy Research (ISFH).

Called BigRef, the new solution is claimed to be the only rugged encapsulated reference solar cell with an area of 160×160mm² available on the market – a size that, according to the research institute, compares with an edge length of only 20mm in conventional encapsulated reference solar cells.

“The unique design of the BigRef, which utilizes techniques like Ethylene-vinyl acetate encapsulation from photovoltaic module construction, results in extremely good thermal coupling to the base plate and thus excellent temperature control capability of the sensor,” the ISFH said. “This is essential for precise calibration of constant-light solar simulators and spectral responsivity measurement systems.”

The solution was developed following the current market trend for bigger solar modules, for which larger light fields of solar simulators are needed. “To measure their homogeneity, the irradiated area must be scanned and a homogeneity correction must be performed. The smaller the reference solar cell used for this purpose, the greater the effort,” the scientists said.

According to the ISFH, a large-area reference solar cell has the advantage that the need for a homogeneity correction can be completely eliminated, when the irradiance of solar simulators for single solar cells must be attentively calibrated. “This not only simplifies the calibration procedure but also leads to a lower measurement uncertainty,” it continued.

The new solution is currently being offered by Mencke und Tegtmeyer GmbH with the possibility of calibrating the simulators at ISFH's solar cell calibration laboratory.

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