First outdoor measurements with a photoluminescence prototype setup in Bad Staffelstein
02/2021 - HI-ERN scientist test prototyp setup in solar test field
Research vehicle with equipment loaded
Science does not only happen during the day in laboratories, but sometimes at night.In addition to their work in the laboratories, HI-ERN scientists repeatedly carry out so-called outdoor measurements in the field, i.e. experiments and test series performed utilizing existing PV systems in operation. Often these are large scale systems that belong to industrial cooperation partners. Just recently we tested a new prototype setup for Photoluminescence measurement in Bad Staffelstein in a Solar test field operated by IBC SOLAR AG.
These particular outdoor measurements were carried out at night since the sunlight during the day interferes too much with the measurement. By measuring modules directly on site possible transport damage to the modules in prevented, and the throughput (modules per minute) is much higher since modules don’t have to be uninstalled and reinstalled later, which in the end saves time and money.
The latest outdoor trial was carried out in November 2020 with our cooperation partners greateyes GmbH from Berlin and IBC SOLAR AG from Bad Staffelstein. Here, our scientists were able to test the photoluminescence prototype setup, which was developed by them. The measurement works by shining very intense light with a defined spectrum at the modules and measuring their optical response at a different wavelength.
The measurements were carried out for two nights in a row. The data obtained was then evaluated at the FAU and the HI-ERN institute. The evaluation showed nicely that defective modules can in fact be reliably detected.
"Thus," says Bernd Doll, PhD student and participating scientist in the night measurements, "our new photoluminescence setup can certainly be used as an alternative to existing measurement methods for photovoltaics. For anyone who wants to investigate failure in PV systems, such a setup is potentially useful."
Read more detail about the methodology used her in our conference proceeding to the 37th EU-PVSEC conference: “Contactless outdoor photoluminescence of silicon photovoltaic modules with large area excitation source”