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Diode breakdown related to recombination active defects in block-cast multicrystalline silicon solar cells

: Kwapil, W.; Kasemann, M.; Gundel, P.; Schubert, M.C.; Warta, W.; Bronsveld, P.; Coletti, G.


Journal of applied physics 106 (2009), Nr.6, Art. 063530, 7 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Solar cells in modules are reverse biased when they are shaded. This can lead to diode breakdown and eventually to the occurrence of hot spots, which may, in the extreme case, destroy the module by thermal degradation. We observed at least three different types of diode breakdown in multicrystalline silicon solar cells. One of them is found to be related to the recombination activity of defects. This type is indicated by a slow increase in the reverse current with reverse bias and a relatively low breakdown voltage around -10 V. The local breakdown voltage depends significantly on the level of contamination of the material. When the solar cell is reverse biased, the breakdown sites emit bright light which shows a broad spectral distribution in the visible range with a maximum at 700 nm.