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Proceedings Paper

Correlation between collimated flash test and in-sun measurements of high concentration photovoltaic modules
Author(s): Evan Green; Sean Taylor; Sam Cowley; Xin Luo
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Paper Abstract

Due to their limited angular acceptance, and use of spectrally sensitive multi-junction solar cells, high concentration photovoltaic modules represent a challenging measurement task. In collaboration with Instituto de Energia Solar at the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, SolFocus has designed and manufactured an industrialized solar simulator for characterization of high concentration photovoltaic modules. The simulator measures module peak conversion efficiency and acceptance angle. The simulator uses a Xenon flash source with collimating optics to form a uniform one-sun illumination covering sufficient area to measure two panels of 1 m2 each, along with reference measurement cells for spectral and power normalization. The on-sun measurement uses a normal incidence pyrheliometer and temperature sensors to provide normalization information. This paper presents an algorithm for normalization of tests performed under factory conditions to IEC 62108 standard operating conditions (850 W/m2 direct-normal-irradiance, 20 C ambient temperature). After normalization, tested panels are correlated to actual on-sun performance measurements. We present descriptions of the normalizations applied to both the factory test method and on-sun test method, and compare the results for a population of over 100 modules. As a result of normalization and correlation methods, we conclude that the simulator predicts on-sun performance to better than ±10%, with 99% confidence. The primary source of uncertainty is the normalization of the on-sun data. The repeatability of the flash test is better than ±2%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 August 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7410, Optical Modeling and Measurements for Solar Energy Systems III, 74100E (20 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.827367
Show Author Affiliations
Evan Green, SolFocus, Inc. (United States)
Sean Taylor, SolFocus, Inc. (United States)
Sam Cowley, SolFocus, Inc. (United States)
Xin Luo, SolFocus, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7410:
Optical Modeling and Measurements for Solar Energy Systems III
Benjamin K. Tsai, Editor(s)

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