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Thread: I-V characteristic solar cells - light source related questions...

  1. #1 I-V characteristic solar cells - light source related questions... 
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    Hello, everyone!!! My name is Niko, researcher in the field of renewable energy sources (solar cells). At this point of my research, I am in the process of setting up I-V characterization system for DSSCs. The only part of the system I don't have is a light source. Since my residual budget is limited (approx. 500$) I am forced to assemble laboratory made light source. My idea is to purchase xenon lamp with wide range of wavelengths, connectable to regular power line, and use it as a light source. However, I am not familiar with methods of measuring light output power (necessary parameter for solar efficiency calculations), spectral response and the uniformity of output power over illuminated area of interest. So, I would appreciate if any of you could share its own experiences on this subject, suggest a method, or correct if something is overlooked.

    Thanks in advance!!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko View Post
    Hello, everyone!!! My name is Niko, researcher in the field of renewable energy sources (solar cells). At this point of my research, I am in the process of setting up I-V characterization system for DSSCs. The only part of the system I don't have is a light source. Since my residual budget is limited (approx. 500$) I am forced to assemble laboratory made light source. My idea is to purchase xenon lamp with wide range of wavelengths, connectable to regular power line, and use it as a light source. However, I am not familiar with methods of measuring light output power (necessary parameter for solar efficiency calculations), spectral response and the uniformity of output power over illuminated area of interest. So, I would appreciate if any of you could share its own experiences on this subject, suggest a method, or correct if something is overlooked.

    Thanks in advance!!!
    If you're trying to measure things like its spectral response, you need a monochromator. On your limited budget, you'll be forced to build your own (or find an inexpensive one on the surplus market). A xenon arc lamp provides a fairly flat output over the octave range spanning 400-800nm, so your choice is a good one. A diffraction grating and a collimator will be the only additional bits you need to build the source. As an undergraduate many years ago, I used a simple replica grating and a bundle of drinking straws (inspired by a design found in volume 1 of the old SEEC series of books). It worked surprisingly well. Using a cheap tungsten bub (automobile brake light, if memory serves) as a source, measuring the bandgap of silicon was straightforward.

    The bigger challenge, frankly, is calibration. What are your accuracy requirements?

    ETA: Oh, and welcome to the Forum!


    Last edited by tk421; September 21st, 2012 at 09:58 PM.
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