How [NOT] to Measure a Solar Cell to Get the Highest Efficiency: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


The multibillion-dollar photovoltaic (PV) industry sells products by the watt; the calibration labs measure this parameter at the cell and module level with the lowest possible uncertainty of 1-2 percent. The methods and procedures to achieve a measured 50 percent efficiency on a thin-film solar cell are discussed. This talk will describe methods that ignore procedures that increase the uncertainty. Your questions will be answered concerning 'Everything you Always Wanted to Know about Efficiency Enhancements But Were Afraid to Ask.' The talk will cover a step-by-step procedure using examples found in literature or encountered in customer samples by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) PV Performance Characterization Group on how to artificially enhance the efficiency. The procedures will describe methods that have been used to enhance the current voltage and fill factor.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePresented at the 43rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 5-10 June 2016, Portland, Oregon

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5J00-66516


  • PV efficiency
  • PV measurement artifacts
  • record efficiency


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