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Finite element modeling for analysis of electroluminescence and infrared images of thin-film solar cells

: Diethelm, M.; Penninck, L.; Regnat, M.; Offermans, T.; Zimmermann, B.; Kirsch, C.; Hiestand, R.; Altazin, S.; Ruhstaller, B.

Fulltext ()

Solar energy 209 (2020), pp.186-193
ISSN: 0038-092X
ISSN: 0375-9865
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Sheet resistance losses and local defects are challenges faced in solar module fabrication and upscaling processes. Commonly used investigation tools are non-invasive optical and thermal imaging techniques, such as electroluminescence, photoluminescence as well as illuminated and dark infrared imaging. Here, we investigate the potential of computationally efficient finite element simulation of solar cells and modules by considering planar electrodes coupled by a local current–voltage coupling law. Sheet resistances are determined by fitting current simulation results of an OPV solar cell to electroluminescence imaging data. Moreover, a thermal model is introduced that accounts for Joule heating due to an electrothermal coupling. A direct comparison of simulated temperature maps to measured infrared images is therefore possible. The electrothermal model is successfully validated by comparing measured and simulated temperature profiles across four interconnected organic solar cells of a mini-module. Furthermore, the influence of shunts on the thermal behavior of OPV modules is investigated by comparing electrothermal simulation results to dark lock-In IR thermography images.