Crucial for PV development is a sound characterisation of photovoltaic cells and modules. The Silicon Competence Centre infrastructure is well equipped with devices for inspection of incoming materials, characterisation of baseline processes and products, (accelerated) life time testing and post-test analysis.
Solar cell characterisation
SiCC features state of the art characterization solar cell testing equipment for the analysis of cells and half fabricates. It also serves in the stabilization of processes and devices, signalling of smallest deviations, and also in-depth analysis to find the root cause of deviations. The AAA solar simulator and spectral response set-ups are carefully kept calibrated. The same robust infrastructure can be used for fast and efficient development of new and innovative processes and devices. The comprehensive list of the SiCC cell characterisation equipment can be downloaded.
PV module characterisation
The heart of the module charlab is the AAA Pasan IV-flash tester. This calibrated instrument can test a wide range of modules, starting from single cell to full size. The excellent repeatability (0.2%) makes it possible to find small degradation effects during durability testing of modules. Electroluminescence and dark-lockin-thermography are available for inspection of the build module and for post-test analysis.
Incoming inspection of conductive adhesives and encapsulants may be done by DSC, rheology, DMTA, contact resistance testing and peel testing.
Accelerated life time tests damp heat and thermal cycle are available. They are run on a four weekly schedule. The modules are three weeks in test and analysis is done in the last week. ECN also offers hot spot testing and light soaking on small and full size modules and PID testing on small modules.
Outdoor testing is possible at two locations: Utrecht and Petten. The resulting field data can be used for calculation of the annual yield and to obtain important reliability information for photovoltaic research on the long term.