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Reversible Efficiency Variation of Tandem Amorphous/Microcrystalline Si Photovoltaic Modules in Outdoor Operation

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  • Fabio Ricco Galluzzo

    () (Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi—Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Zona Industriale, Ottava Strada n. 5, 95121 Catania, Italy
    Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Catania, Via S. Sofia, 64, 95123 Catania, Italy)

  • Cosimo Gerardi

    () (ENEL Green Power, Contrada Blocco Torrazzesn—Z.I., 95121 Catania, Italy)

  • Andrea Canino

    () (ENEL Green Power, Contrada Blocco Torrazzesn—Z.I., 95121 Catania, Italy)

  • Salvatore Lombardo

    () (Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi—Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Zona Industriale, Ottava Strada n. 5, 95121 Catania, Italy)

Abstract

The Staebler-Wronski effect in amorphous silicon based photovoltaic devices is responsible for degradation of their power conversion efficiency, within approximately the first one thousand hours of light soaking. Several experimental studies led to highlight the performance instability phenomena for the mentioned devices, underling that recovery and improvement of such performance are observable, by subjecting such devices (both of single-junction and tandem types) to DC reverse bias stresses under illumination, or to operation in the Maximum Power Point (MPP) under variable conditions of temperature and illumination. In this work, we present and discuss the results of novel recent outdoor tests on stabilized specimens (i.e., exposed to 1000 h extended light soaking, before our tests) of tandem amorphous/microcrystalline Si (a-Si/µc-Si) photovoltaic (PV) minimodules operating in their MPP, by analyzing the causes of the performance instability effects, systematically observed on a daily scale. During the mentioned tests, we have monitored the solar cell operating temperature and the incident solar spectrum at various times in different days to verify the effect of cell temperature and solar spectrum changes on the cell performances. The experimental results show a clear correlation between performance improvements of the photovoltaic modules and their thermal history during the outdoor tests, proving the interplay between defect build-up at a lower temperature and defect annealing at a higher temperature, taking place in the solar cells operated in MPP during conventional outdoor operation.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Ricco Galluzzo & Cosimo Gerardi & Andrea Canino & Salvatore Lombardo, 2019. "Reversible Efficiency Variation of Tandem Amorphous/Microcrystalline Si Photovoltaic Modules in Outdoor Operation," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(15), pages 1-11, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:15:p:2876-:d:251876
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    performance instability; thermal effects; tandem a-Si/µc-Si PV devices;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q49 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Other

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