Module Measurements

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Photovoltaic (PV) module measurements at NREL include current versus voltage (I-V) under simulated and outdoor conditions to increase measurement accuracy and reduce uncertainty.

Interested in Module Measurements?

Request a Measurement

Simulated Module Current versus Voltage

We use two I-V measurement systems to assess the performance parameters for PV modules under simulated conditions:

  • Spire 5600 SLP pulsed solar simulator
  • Large-area continuous solar simulator.

The following table is a condensed list of characteristics for module I-V measurements under simulated light.

Characteristics for Module I-V Measurements under Simulated Light

System

Special Features

Light Source

Dimensions

Voltage

Bias

0.2- to 1-sun module I-V

30- to 100-ms flash; sweep both directions

2 xenon flash lamps

200 cm × 137 cm

1 mV /250 V

0.1 mA / 25 A

1-sun modules

100% duty-cycle continuous light allows the sample to be in any state prior to measurements; spectral irradiance measured; user-controlled bias

25-kW xenon lamp

170 cm × 130 cm

5 mV / ±300 V

± 1 µA to ±60 A

Outdoor Module Current versus Voltage

We use three I-V measurement systems to assess the performance parameters for PV modules under natural sunlight:

  • Standard outdoor measurement system
  • Prototype concentrator evaluation test bed
  • Daystar DS-10/125 portable I-V curve tracer.

The following table is a condensed listing of characteristics for module I-V measurements instrumentation.

Characteristics for Module I-V Measurements Instrumentation

System

Special Features

Light Source

Dimensions

Voltage Bias

Bandwidth

Unattended periodic I-V measurements of prototype concentrator modules and cells mounted in a two-axis tracker; translation equations, stability, and performance of concentrator

Up to 10 samples at a time; spectral irradiance and meteorological parameters; multiple temperature channels

Sunlight

61 cm × 120 cm

0.01 mV to 100 V

20 nA to 20 A

I-V measurements under outdoor conditions

Portable; may be powered either with a 120-Vac line or with a 12-Vdc battery

Sunlight

Unlimited

12 mV to 600 V

5 mA to 125 A