Solar simulator for perovskite-silicon tandem PV cells, modules

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Canadian solar simulator developer G2V Optics and Sinton Instruments, a US-based PV characterization specialist, have created a solar simulator for solar cells and modules.

The new instrument supports both characterization and a Class AAA light in a single tool. It is designed to test all solar cell technologies, but with a focus on perovskite-silicon tandem cells and encapsulated mini-modules. It contains a fully programmable and tunable spectrum steady-state LED light combined with Sinton Instruments’ solar cell testing hardware and advanced characterization analysis software.

Named FCT-650SE, the instrument has a multi-source LED solar simulator with up to 36 tunable channels for spectrum control, integrated current versus voltage (IV) curve recording, and Suns-Voc measurement capability. It can perform both flash and continuous lighting tests. Also supported are maximum power point tracking (MPPT), light soaking, and automated measurement sequences.

Some of the supported tests and measurements include full IV curve, short circuit current, open circuit voltages, maximum power point, fill factor, efficiency, series resistance, shunt resistance, and Suns-Voc. For silicon devices, it can also measure bulk lifetime, lifetime at max power, substrate doping, substrate thickness, and power loss analysis.

The system has a footprint of approximately 4,645 cm2, which the manufacturer said is on par or slightly more compact than other solar simulators with similar illumination areas.

Its voltage and current range are 40 V and 20 A for silicon and 2.4 A for perovskite tandem devices. The temperature-controlled chuck can accommodate samples that range in size from 2 mm2 to 210 mm2. Custom chuck designs for unusual sizes are available from the manufacturer.

The testing instrument is available from both companies. Several units have already been built and delivered to customers, according to the manufacturers.

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