NREL's Improved Linearity Testing of Photovoltaic Reference Cells

Tom Moriarty, Tao Song, Carl Osterwald

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Photovoltaic devices are characterized under standard testing conditions that include a defined reference spectrum and total irradiance. International standards for reference cell calibrations require that reported reference cell response (typically Isc) vs. total irradiance must be linear. How can linearity be efficiently determined? In 2006 NREL developed a test bed, based on the "two-lamp method"that provided a low cost, but low accuracy method for determining whether cell responsewas linear with irradiance. This paper describes very simple changes to NREL's historical method [1] for determining linearity that yield greatly improved results. It also describes a method that can be used to quantify and correct for non-linearity.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


Conference46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5900-73486


  • characterization
  • linearity
  • measurement
  • metrology
  • photovoltaic (PV) cells
  • Reference cell
  • shortcircuit current
  • solar cells


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