Light Induced Degradation Quantification by Monitoring the VOC Output of Silicon Solar Cell Using Low-Cost Real-Time Virtual Instrumentation
Keywords:Silicon, solar cells, LID, MATLAB/Simulink, Arduino
Silicon-based solar cells suffer from different types of light-induced efficiency losses (can cause up to 10% loss), known as light-induced degradation (LID). Impurities, such as boron, iron, and oxygen, are common at different concentrations in these solar cells. They form active recombination defects in boron-doped mono-crystalline (Cz-Si) and multi-crystalline (mc-Si) solar cells during illumination. For the solar industry, this will lead to serious financial loss, hence the importance of inspecting and controlling the LID level accurately. Seeking to minimize the human factor and the inaccuracy that comes with it, we have proposed in this research a low-cost virtual instrumentation solution to provide a new real-time instrumentation technique for solar cell characteristics such as open circuit voltage (VOC). The virtual data acquisition system (VDAS) design is based on a low-cost Arduino board associated with MATLAB/Simulink software. Moreover, this system can collect in real time the values of solar cell outputs under prolonged illumination and under different temperatures of the LID test. Further, kinetic modeling of the solar cell output VOC variation as a function of light soak duration; shows the predominance of one type metastable defect over the LID test of c-Si solar cells. Additionally, degradation mechanism in mc-Si solar cells involve more than one metastable defect and are more complexes due to the mc-Si substrate elaboration technique compared to c-Si substrate. Furthermore, the temperature dependence of the concentrations (NVoc) and the thermal activation energies of the defects have been extracted from the experimental VOC measurements obtained using the VDAS. Finally, the system minimizes the test period and errors for solar cell characterization compared to traditional approaches.
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