Matching Items (3)

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Series resistance increase in field degraded PV modules in different climatic conditions

Description

Global photovoltaic (PV) module installation in 2018 is estimated to exceed 100 GW, and crystalline Si (c-Si) solar cell-based modules have a share more than 90% of the global PV

Global photovoltaic (PV) module installation in 2018 is estimated to exceed 100 GW, and crystalline Si (c-Si) solar cell-based modules have a share more than 90% of the global PV market. To reduce the social cost of PV electricity, further developments in reliability of solar panels are expected. These will lead to realize longer module lifetime and reduced levelized cost of energy. As many as 86 failure modes are observed in PV modules [1] and series resistance increase is one of the major durability issues of all. Series resistance constitutes emitter sheet resistance, metal-semiconductor contact resistance, and resistance across the metal-solder ribbon. Solder bond degradation at the cell interconnect is one of the primary causes for increase in series resistance, which is also considered to be an invisible defect [1]. Combination of intermetallic compounds (IMC) formation during soldering and their growth due to solid state diffusion over its lifetime result in formation of weak interfaces between the solar cell and the interconnect. Thermal cycling under regular operating conditions induce thermo-mechanical fatigue over these weak interfaces resulting in contact reduction or loss. Contact reduction or loss leads to increase in series resistance which further manifests into power and fill factor loss. The degree of intermixing of metallic interfaces and contact loss depends on climatic conditions as temperature and humidity (moisture ingression into the PV module laminate) play a vital role in reaction kinetics of these layers. Modules from Arizona and Florida served as a good sample set to analyze the effects of hot and humid climatic conditions respectively. The results obtained in the current thesis quantifies the thickness of IMC formation from SEM-EDS profiles, where similar modules obtained from different climatic conditions were compared. The results indicate the thickness of the IMC and detachment degree to be growing with age and operating temperatures of the module. This can be seen in CuxSny IMC which is thicker in the case of Arizona module. The results obtained from FL

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aged modules also show that humidity accelerates the formation of IMC as they showed thicker AgxSny layer and weak interconnect-contact interfaces as compared to Arizona modules. It is also shown that climatic conditions have different effects on rate at which CuxSny and AgxSny intermetallic compounds are formed.

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  • 2018

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Characterization of electrically active defects at Nb/Si interface using current transport and transient capacitance measurements

Description

In this project, current-voltage (I-V) and Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS) measurements are used to (a) characterize the electrical properties of Nb/p-type Si Schottky barriers, (b) identify the concentration and

In this project, current-voltage (I-V) and Deep Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS) measurements are used to (a) characterize the electrical properties of Nb/p-type Si Schottky barriers, (b) identify the concentration and physical character of the electrically active defects present in the depletion region, and (c) use thermal processing to reduce the concentration or eliminate the defects. Barrier height determinations using temperature-dependent I-V measurements indicate that the barrier height decreases from 0.50 eV to 0.48 eV for anneals above 200 C. The electrically-active defect concentration measured using DLTS (deep level transient spectroscopy) drops markedly after anneals at 250 C.

A significant increase in leakage currents is almost always observed in near-ideal devices upon annealing. In contrast, non-ideal devices dominated by leakage currents annealed at 150 C to 250 C exhibit a significant decrease in such currents.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Efficiency-limiting recombination mechanisms in high-quality crystalline silicon for solar cells

Description

Recent technology advancements in photovoltaics have enabled crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells to establish outstanding photoconversion efficiency records. Remarkable progresses in research and development have been made both on the

Recent technology advancements in photovoltaics have enabled crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells to establish outstanding photoconversion efficiency records. Remarkable progresses in research and development have been made both on the silicon feedstock quality as well as the technology required for surface passivation, the two dominant sources of performance loss via recombination of photo-generated charge carriers within advanced solar cell architectures.

As these two aspects of the solar cell framework improve, the need for a thorough analysis of their respective contribution under varying operation conditions has emerged along with challenges related to the lack of sensitivity of available characterization techniques. The main objective of my thesis work has been to establish a deep understanding of both “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” recombination processes that govern performance in high-quality silicon absorbers. By studying each recombination mechanism as a function of illumination and temperature, I strive to identify the lifetime limiting defects and propose a path to engineer the ultimate silicon solar cell.

This dissertation presents a detailed description of the experimental procedure required to deconvolute surface recombination contributions from bulk recombination contributions when performing lifetime spectroscopy analysis. This work proves that temperature- and injection-dependent lifetime spectroscopy (TIDLS) sensitivity can be extended to impurities concentrations down to 109 cm-3, orders of magnitude below any other characterization technique available today. A new method for the analysis of TIDLS data denominated Defect Parameters Contour Mapping (DPCM) is presented with the aim of providing a visual and intuitive tool to identify the lifetime limiting impurities in silicon material. Surface recombination velocity results are modelled by applying appropriate approaches from literature to our experimentally evaluated data, demonstrating for the first time their capability to interpret temperature-dependent data. In this way, several new results are obtained which solve long disputed aspects of surface passivation mechanisms. Finally, we experimentally evaluate the temperature-dependence of Auger lifetime and its impact on a theoretical intrinsically limited solar cell. These results decisively point to the need for a new Auger lifetime parameterization accounting for its temperature-dependence, which would in turn help understand the ultimate theoretical efficiency limit for a solar cell under real operation conditions.

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Date Created
  • 2018