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.

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
System 0.2- to 1-sun module I-V Special Features 30- to 100-ms flash; sweep both directions Light Source 2 xenon flash lamps Dimensions 200 cm × 137 cm Voltage 1 mV /250 V Bias 0.1 mA / 25 A
System 1-sun modules Special Features 100% duty-cycle continuous light allows the sample to be in any state prior to measurements; spectral irradiance measured; user-controlled bias Light Source 25-kW xenon lamp Dimensions 170 cm × 130 cm Voltage 5 mV / ±300 V Bias ± 1 µA to ±60 A