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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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On the importance of considering the incident sprectrum when measuring the outdoor performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices

Infield, D.G. (2004) On the importance of considering the incident sprectrum when measuring the outdoor performance of amorphous silicon photovoltaic devices. Measurement Science and Technology, 15 (2). pp. 460-466. ISSN 0957-0233

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Abstract

Conventional measurement practice for the outdoor performance evaluation of solar cells does not make use of the complete spectrum, relying instead on the total irradiance as measured, say, with a pyranometer. In this paper it is shown that this can result in significant errors for solar cells having wide band gaps, in particular, for amorphous silicon solar cells. Two effects are investigated. The first relates to quantifying the typical errors associated with instantaneous measurements; what one might term the calibration of devices. The second relates to quantifying the impact of neglecting variations in the spectrum on the estimation of the annual energy production. It is observed that the fraction of the spectrum falling in the spectrally useful range for amorphous silicon can vary by as much as +10% to −15% with respect to standard test conditions at the test site used in this study, which translates directly into performance variations of similar magnitude. The relationship between changes due to spectral variations as opposed to variations in device temperature is also investigated. The results show that there is a strong case for investigating spectral effects more thoroughly, and explicitly including the measurement of the spectral distribution in all outdoor performance testing.