Thermal and Electrical Effects of Partial Shade in Monolithic Thin-Film Photovoltaic Modules

Timothy Silverman, Michael Deceglie, Christopher Deline, Sarah Kurtz, Xingshu Sun, Muhammad Alam, Rebekah Garris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus Citations


Photovoltaic cells can be damaged by reverse bias stress, which arises during service when a monolithically integrated thin-film module is partially shaded. We introduce a model for describing a module's internal thermal and electrical state, which cannot normally be measured. Using this model and experimental measurements, we present several results with relevance for reliability testing and module engineering: Modules with a small breakdown voltage experience less stress than those with a large breakdown voltage, with some exceptions for modules having light-enhanced reverse breakdown. Masks leaving a small part of the masked cells illuminated can lead to very high temperature and current density compared with masks covering entire cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7286729
Pages (from-to)1742-1747
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011-2012 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5J00-65150


  • module engineering
  • photovoltaic
  • reliability testing
  • thin films
  • thin-film module


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal and Electrical Effects of Partial Shade in Monolithic Thin-Film Photovoltaic Modules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this