PILATUS is also evaluating the quality of the developed IBC technology in many ways: inline, at the cell and module production lines, in our indoor lab facilities in solar simulators and accelerated stress testing chambers, and in our outdoor testing facilities. Fraunhofer CSP, FZU, ISRA and PASAN are collaborating to develop new tools for collecting and analysing inline metrology from the cell pilot lines. They specifically focus on tools that can automatically analyse the IBC cell structures at high throughput.
The back-contact structure is essential to the high efficiency of the IBC technology, and proper inline inspection is necessary to ensure the high quality of this key component of the PV cells. A big challenge is to develop these metrology tools in such a way that they are compatible with the very high throughput (cells/hr) required of modern PV manufacturing. For the offline testing (indoor characterisation and stress testing, outdoor testing) we have finished our first deliverable.
In this deliverable D4.1, the PILATUS partners describe a set of testing protocols and the measurements setups that we will use to test the performance of the PILATUS PV modules. From the end of 2023 onwards, modules produced in the project will be subjected to high temperatures and enhanced humidity, hail impacts, and other mechanical stresses in our indoor facilities, to ensure the long-term operation at high efficiency. Concurrent outdoor testing will add to this the evaluation of performance under real world conditions in different locations in Europe. All these results will serve to give feedback to the cell and module development regarding any potential degradation mechanisms observed in our testing, to further improve the technology towards the longest possible lifetime and energy yield.
Figure: Outdoor test locations – a) Bolzano (EURAC); b) Neuchâtel (EPFL); c) Fraunhofer CSP; d) Prague (FZU)