Chapter 10: CPV Multijunction Solar Cell Characterization

Carl Osterwald, Gerald Siefer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Characterization of solar cells can be divided into two types: the first is measurement of electrooptical semiconductor device parameters, and the second is determination of electrical conversion efficiency. This chapter reviews the multijunction concepts that are necessary for understanding Concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cell characterization techniques, and describes how CPV efficiency is defined and used. For any I-V measurement of a multijunction cell, the sun simulator spectrum has to be adjusted in a way that all junctions generate the same photocurrent ratios with respect to each other as under reference conditions. The chapter discusses several procedures for spectral irradiance adjustments of solar simulators, essential for multijunction measurements. It overviews the light sources and optics commonly used in simulators for CPV cells under concentration. Finally, the chapter talks about the cell area, quantum efficiency (QE), and current-voltage (I-V) curve measurements that are needed to characterize cells as a function of irradiance.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHandbook of Concentrator Photovoltaic Technology
EditorsC. Algora, I. Rey-Stolle
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5J00-63358


  • concentrator solar cell characterization
  • current-voltage curve
  • electrical conversion efficiency
  • multijunction solar cell
  • solar simulators
  • spectral irradiance adjustments


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