Matching Items (36)

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Novel Applications to Si Heterojunction Solar Cells

Description

Proposed and tested were three different methods to deposit important layers of Silicon heterojunction solar cells (SHJs). If there were a shortage of Silver, Aluminum could be substituted for the

Proposed and tested were three different methods to deposit important layers of Silicon heterojunction solar cells (SHJs). If there were a shortage of Silver, Aluminum could be substituted for the contacts. If there were a shortage of Indium, Yttrium Zinc Oxide could be substituted. To improve the solar cell, the p and n type layers can be grown with hydrogenated nanocrystallline Silicon (nc-Si:H). 40% and 50% nc-Si:H has shown a maximum absorbance reduction of 5 times compared to hydrogenated amorphous Silicon (a-Si). The substitutions offer alternatives which increase the total possible amount of solar cell production, advancing toward completion of the Terrawatt challenge.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

Evaluation of sustainability in development projects utilizing renewable energy products in Zimbabwe

Description

The problem concerning the access to energy has become an increasingly acute matter of concern in low-income areas. Currently an estimated 1.2 billion people don't have access to energy (IEA,

The problem concerning the access to energy has become an increasingly acute matter of concern in low-income areas. Currently an estimated 1.2 billion people don't have access to energy (IEA, 2014). Following the declaration of 2012 as "The International Year of Sustainable Energy for All" by the United Nations General Assembly (UNDP, 2014), this alarming situation of energy poverty has resulted in the creation of new partnerships between governments, NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization), and large multi-national corporations.

This study is focused on the evaluation of sustainability of a development project in Gutu, Zimbabwe that is initiated by Schneider Electric Corporation's BipBop Program. This program aims to provide access to energy via photo-voltaic cells and battery kits for daily use. It is expected that this project will have a high impact on sustainable development, and creation of value, which in turn is expected to allow participation in global supply chains.

The results gathered from the analysis show that the development project to be piloted in Gutu, Zimbabwe is likely to have a "high impact on sustainability". The project is therefore considered an effective sustainable development project that aims to promote, and develop local Zimbabwean markets through increased transactions and the creation of sustainable supply chains that are expected to recruit Zimbabwe into the global value chains.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Indoor soiling method and outdoor statistical risk analysis of photovoltaic power plants

Description

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an

This is a two-part thesis.

Part 1 presents an approach for working towards the development of a standardized artificial soiling method for laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells or mini-modules. Construction of an artificial chamber to maintain controlled environmental conditions and components/chemicals used in artificial soil formulation is briefly explained. Both poly-Si mini-modules and a single cell mono-Si coupons were soiled and characterization tests such as I-V, reflectance and quantum efficiency (QE) were carried out on both soiled, and cleaned coupons. From the results obtained, poly-Si mini-modules proved to be a good measure of soil uniformity, as any non-uniformity present would not result in a smooth curve during I-V measurements. The challenges faced while executing reflectance and QE characterization tests on poly-Si due to smaller size cells was eliminated on the mono-Si coupons with large cells to obtain highly repeatable measurements. This study indicates that the reflectance measurements between 600-700 nm wavelengths can be used as a direct measure of soil density on the modules.

Part 2 determines the most dominant failure modes of field aged PV modules using experimental data obtained in the field and statistical analysis, FMECA (Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis). The failure and degradation modes of about 744 poly-Si glass/polymer frameless modules fielded for 18 years under the cold-dry climate of New York was evaluated. Defect chart, degradation rates (both string and module levels) and safety map were generated using the field measured data. A statistical reliability tool, FMECA that uses Risk Priority Number (RPN) is used to determine the dominant failure or degradation modes in the strings and modules by means of ranking and prioritizing the modes. This study on PV power plants considers all the failure and degradation modes from both safety and performance perspectives.

The indoor and outdoor soiling studies were jointly performed by two Masters Students, Sravanthi Boppana and Vidyashree Rajasekar. This thesis presents the indoor soiling study, whereas the other thesis presents the outdoor soiling study. Similarly, the statistical risk analyses of two power plants (model J and model JVA) were jointly performed by these two Masters students. Both power plants are located at the same cold-dry climate, but one power plant carries framed modules and the other carries frameless modules. This thesis presents the results obtained on the frameless modules.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Dependence of toxicity test results on sample removal methods of PV modules

Description

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in place, there would be 60 million tons of end-of-life PV modules lying in the landfills by 2050, that may not become a not-so-sustainable way of sourcing energy since all PV modules could contain certain amount of toxic substances. Currently in the United States, PV modules are categorized as general waste and can be disposed in landfills. However, potential leaching of toxic chemicals and materials, if any, from broken end-of-life modules may pose health or environmental risks. There is no standard procedure to remove samples from PV modules for chemical toxicity testing in the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratories as per EPA 1311 standard. The main objective of this thesis is to develop an unbiased sampling approach for the TCLP testing of PV modules. The TCLP testing was concentrated only for the laminate part of the modules, as they are already existing recycling technologies for the frame and junction box components of PV modules. Four different sample removal methods have been applied to the laminates of five different module manufacturers: coring approach, cell-cut approach, strip-cut approach, and hybrid approach. These removed samples were sent to two different TCLP laboratories, and TCLP results were tested for repeatability within a lab and reproducibility between the labs. The pros and cons of each sample removal method have been explored and the influence of sample removal methods on the variability of TCLP results has been discussed. To reduce the variability of TCLP results to an acceptable level, additional improvements in the coring approach, the best of the four tested options, are still needed.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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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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Measurement of molecular conductance

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This dissertation describes the work on two projects which involves measuring molecular conductance and studying their properties on the nanoscale using various Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) techniques. The first molecule

This dissertation describes the work on two projects which involves measuring molecular conductance and studying their properties on the nanoscale using various Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) techniques. The first molecule studied was a porphyrin-fullerene moiety known as a molecular Dyad for photovoltaic applications. This project is further divided into two section, the first one involving the characterization of the Dyad monolayers and conductance measurement in the dark. The Dyads are designed to form charge separated states on illumination. The lifetime of the charged states have been measured efficiently but the single-molecule conductance through the molecules have yet to be characterized. The second part of the project describes the set-up of a novel sample stage which enables the study of molecular conductance under illumination. This part also describes the subsequent study of the molecule under illumination and the observation of a unique charge-separated state. It also contains the verification of the presence of this charge-separated using other characterization techniques like transient absorption spectroscopy. The second project described in the dissertation was studying and comparing the predicted rectifying nature of two molecules, identical in every way except for one stereocenter. This project describes the formation of monolayers of the molecule on gold and then studying and analyzing the current-voltage characteristics of the molecules and looking for rectification. Both the molecules proved to be rectifying, one more than the other as predicted by theoretical calculations.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Investigation of 1,900 individual field aged photovoltaic modules for potential induced degradation (PID) in a positive biased power plant

Description

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures.

Photovoltaic (PV) modules undergo performance degradation depending on climatic conditions, applications, and system configurations. The performance degradation prediction of PV modules is primarily based on Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) procedures. In order to further strengthen the ALT process, additional investigation of the power degradation of field aged PV modules in various configurations is required. A detailed investigation of 1,900 field aged (12-18 years) PV modules deployed in a power plant application was conducted for this study. Analysis was based on the current-voltage (I-V) measurement of all the 1,900 modules individually. I-V curve data of individual modules formed the basis for calculating the performance degradation of the modules. The percentage performance degradation and rates of degradation were compared to an earlier study done at the same plant. The current research was primarily focused on identifying the extent of potential induced degradation (PID) of individual modules with reference to the negative ground potential. To investigate this, the arrangement and connection of the individual modules/strings was examined in detail. The study also examined the extent of underperformance of every series string due to performance mismatch of individual modules in that string. The power loss due to individual module degradation and module mismatch at string level was then compared to the rated value.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Potential induced degradation (PID) of pre-stressed photovoltaic modules: effect of glass surface conductivity disruption

Description

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of

Potential induced degradation (PID) due to high system voltages is one of the major degradation mechanisms in photovoltaic (PV) modules, adversely affecting their performance due to the combined effects of the following factors: system voltage, superstrate/glass surface conductivity, encapsulant conductivity, silicon nitride anti-reflection coating property and interface property (glass/encapsulant; encapsulant/cell; encapsulant/backsheet). Previous studies carried out at ASU's Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory (ASU-PRL) showed that only negative voltage bias (positive grounded systems) adversely affects the performance of commonly available crystalline silicon modules. In previous studies, the surface conductivity of the glass surface was obtained using either conductive carbon layer extending from the glass surface to the frame or humidity inside an environmental chamber. This thesis investigates the influence of glass surface conductivity disruption on PV modules. In this study, conductive carbon was applied only on the module's glass surface without extending to the frame and the surface conductivity was disrupted (no carbon layer) at 2cm distance from the periphery of frame inner edges. This study was carried out under dry heat at two different temperatures (60 °C and 85 °C) and three different negative bias voltages (-300V, -400V, and -600V). To replicate closeness to the field conditions, half of the selected modules were pre-stressed under damp heat for 1000 hours (DH 1000) and the remaining half under 200 hours of thermal cycling (TC 200). When the surface continuity was disrupted by maintaining a 2 cm gap from the frame to the edge of the conductive layer, as demonstrated in this study, the degradation was found to be absent or negligibly small even after 35 hours of negative bias at elevated temperatures. This preliminary study appears to indicate that the modules could become immune to PID losses if the continuity of the glass surface conductivity is disrupted at the inside boundary of the frame. The surface conductivity of the glass, due to water layer formation in a humid condition, close to the frame could be disrupted just by applying a water repelling (hydrophobic) but high transmittance surface coating (such as Teflon) or modifying the frame/glass edges with water repellent properties.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Topology reconfiguration to improve the photovoltaic (PV) array performance

Description

Great advances have been made in the construction of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, but array level management remains much the same as it has been in previous decades. Conventionally,

Great advances have been made in the construction of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, but array level management remains much the same as it has been in previous decades. Conventionally, the PV array is connected in a fixed topology which is not always appropriate in the presence of faults in the array, and varying weather conditions. With the introduction of smarter inverters and solar modules, the data obtained from the photovoltaic array can be used to dynamically modify the array topology and improve the array power output. This is beneficial especially when module mismatches such as shading, soiling and aging occur in the photovoltaic array. This research focuses on the topology optimization of PV arrays under shading conditions using measurements obtained from a PV array set-up. A scheme known as topology reconfiguration method is proposed to find the optimal array topology for a given weather condition and faulty module information. Various topologies such as the series-parallel (SP), the total cross-tied (TCT), the bridge link (BL) and their bypassed versions are considered. The topology reconfiguration method compares the efficiencies of the topologies, evaluates the percentage gain in the generated power that would be obtained by reconfiguration of the array and other factors to find the optimal topology. This method is employed for various possible shading patterns to predict the best topology. The results demonstrate the benefit of having an electrically reconfigurable array topology. The effects of irradiance and shading on the array performance are also studied. The simulations are carried out using a SPICE simulator. The simulation results are validated with the experimental data provided by the PACECO Company.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Next generation photovoltaic modules: visualizing deflection and analyzing stress

Description

Stress-related failure such as cracking are an important photovoltaic (PV) reliability issue since it accounts for a high percentage of power losses in the midlife-failure and wear-out failure regimes. Cell

Stress-related failure such as cracking are an important photovoltaic (PV) reliability issue since it accounts for a high percentage of power losses in the midlife-failure and wear-out failure regimes. Cell cracking can only be correlated with module degradation when cracks are of detectable size and detrimental to the performance. Several techniques have been explored to access the deflection and stress status on solar cell, but they have disadvantages such as high surface sensitivity.

This dissertation presents a new and non-destructive method for mapping the deflection on encapsulated solar cells using X-ray topography (XRT). This method is based on Bragg diffraction imaging, where only the areas that meet diffraction conditions will present contrast. By taking XRT images of the solar cell at various sample positions and applying an in-house developed algorithm framework, the cell‘s deflection map is obtained. Error analysis has demonstrated that the errors from the experiment and the data processing are below 4.4 and 3.3%.

Von Karman plate theory has been applied to access the stress state of the solar cells. Under the assumptions that the samples experience pure bending and plain stress conditions, the principal stresses are obtained from the cell deflection data. Results from a statistical analysis using a Weibull distribution suggest that 0.1% of the data points can contribute to critical failure. Both the soldering and lamination processes put large amounts of stress on solar cells. Even though glass/glass packaging symmetry is preferred over glass/backsheet, the solar cells inside the glass/glass packaging experience significantly more stress. Through a series of in-situ four-point bending test, the assumptions behind Von Karman theory are validated for cases where the neutral plane is displaced by the tensile and compressive stresses.

The deflection and stress mapping method is applied to two next generation PV concepts named Flex-circuit and PVMirror. The Flex-circuit module concept replaces traditional metal ribbons with Al foils for electrical contact and PVMirror concept utilizes a curved PV module design with a dichroic film for thermal storage and electrical output. The XRT framework proposed in this dissertation successfully characterized the impact of various novel interconnection and packaging solutions.

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Date Created
  • 2019