Device for controlling sample temperature during photoelectric and solar cell measurement

Summary of the technology

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) have developed an innovative device for controlling sample temperature during photoelectric and solar cell measurement. This technology specifically relates to a device for maintaining a constant temperature of solar cell samples in a procedure for measuring photoelectric and solar cell characteristic.

Details of the Technology Offer

This advanced technology is particularly valuable in response to the increasing attention being placed on alternative next-generation clean energy sources. As such, greater scientific research focus is being paid to fossil fuel alternatives, such as solar cells. Solar cells directly converting sunlight into electric energy have various merits such as avoidance of contamination, infinite resource and semi-permanent lifespan, and are thus anticipated as an energy source capable of solving the problem of energy depletion.

Solar cells are semiconductor devices for solar energy generation. Performance indicators determine the value of a solar cell, for example; spectral responsibility, open circuit voltage, short circuit voltage, short circuit current, conversion efficiency and maximum output. These performance indicators are determined by measuring photoelectric characteristics using a test called Standard Test Condition (STC). For common crystalline silicon solar cells, which have relatively good thermal conductivity, and thin film solar cell, the indirect method of controlling sample temperature is fully efficient to due effective heat exchange between a sample stage and a sample. However, in the case of a thin film solar cell using a thick glass substrate or a solar cell that has an additional jig for measurement, the heat exchange between a sample stage and a sample is not effective.

The inefficiencies experienced when measuring solar cell properties, of some solar cells, arise due to the difficulty encountered when attempting to maintain the temperature of the measurement target solar cell at values similar to those prescribed by STC conditions. Also, in the case of a dye-sensitized solar cell, which requires a relatively long time for measurement, the cell must be exposed to light for a prolonged period, making temperature measurements difficult to attain as well as suffering issues because of prolonged photo-irradiation. The technology, developed and presented by the KIER, has been conceived to solve the problems related to controlling sample temperatures during photoelectric and solar cell measurements. This advanced technology offers a refined, indirect, method for controlling sample temperatures, and may be used for measuring various photoelectric and solar cell characteristics.

Method of design for device for controlling sample temperature during photoelectric and solar cell measurement.

This sophisticated technology provides a device for controlling a sample temperature during photoelectric measurement of the sample, including: a cooling unit for cooling the sample by injecting air; and a temperature measuring unit having a thermometer to measure the temperature of the sample. The technology comprises a 3-part process, after which the solar cell temperature is at a predetermined range:

  1. Sample Stage: The solar cell is measured and compared with a predetermined temperature requirement, if the temperature meets these requirements then the following stages are not required. The sample stage may be supported by a supporting unit, which is in contact with at least one part of the sample stage. The size of the sample stage is properly configured by the additional supporting unit.
  2. Control Unit Stage: The controlling unit manages the temperature of the solar cell by regulating the amount of air injected or generated from the cooling unit according to a measured temperature in the measuring unit. Target samples whose temperature is controlled by the device may not only represent a sample whose temperature increases by photo-irradiation, but also other types of samples whose temperature are increased during measurement.
  3. Re-measuring Stage: The stage involves the re-measuring of solar cell temperatures to ensure they have reached the desired temperature. The solar cell measurement device includes a photovoltaic cell, for measuring a current-voltage curve or spectral responsivity of a solar cell sample

This device not only measures the electric and electronic characteristics of a solar cell but may be composed of several components besides the photoelectric measurement and the light source unit described above. What’s more, because of the generic components of this streamlined measurement device, it can be used without a specific temperature limit. The present invention facilitates controlling a temperature of a solar cell during the performance evaluation of the solar cell, to values similar to STC conditions, by a direct control method for a sample temperature.

This device uniquely enables the controlling of a sample temperature during measurement of photoelectric characteristics of the sample. The present invention exhibits an excellent control effect for a sample temperature by using a direct control method for a sample temperature control. Further, the solar cell measurement device enables easy maintenance of sample solar cell temperatures at STC conditions and the minimisation of production costs and time requirements

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent

Patent number : 9667190

Where : USA

Current development status

Commercially available technologies

Desired business relationship

Technology selling

Patent licensing

Joint ventures

Technology development

New technology applications

Adaptation of technology to other markets

Related Keywords

  • Measurement devices
  • Industrial Technologies
  • Clean Industrial Technologies
  • Energy Technology
  • Renewable Sources of Energy
  • Solar / Thermal Energy Technology
  • Measurements and Standards
  • Optical Technology related to measurements
  • Energy Market
  • Alternative Energy
  • Solar / Thermal Energy Market
  • Industrial measurement and sensing equipment
  • temperature
  • solar cell
  • photoelectric

About Korea Institute of Energy Research

Since the founding in 1977, the KIER has had focused on energy technology R&D which is closely related with our living standards and national security while overcoming the challenges we have faced as a resource poor country.

KIER's R&D areas include improving efficiency and securing environment-friendly way in use of limited conventional energy resources such as oil, coal as well as natural gas and exploring new energy sources such as solar, wind and water as well as its commercialization.

The KIER also strives towards technology transfer which can be reflected in successful commercialization of our remarkable R&D outcomes by means of industrialization of excellent intellectual property rights, enlarging its R&D activity in bottleneck technology based on small and medium sized enterprises, and communicating actively with markets through "1 researcher to 1 enterprise" technique guidance.

enlarging its R&D activity in bottleneck technology based on small and medium sized enterprises, and communicating actively with markets through "1 researcher to 1 enterprise" technique guidance.

Energy has had a significant influence not only on living standards in a society, but also upon national competitiveness and security. Therefore, the KIER will do its best in developing energy technology for future generations.

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