Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices

Date:
July 26, 2012
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
A novel measurement system can accurately and quickly measures the energy output of solar power devices. Combining two different techniques and suitable for use in both the lab and the production line, their device could be a boon to manufacturers working on better, more competitive solar energy systems.

NIST measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices.
Credit: National Institute of Standards and Technology

A new versatile measurement system devised by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) accurately and quickly measures the electric power output of solar energy devices, capabilities useful to researchers and manufacturers working to develop and make next-generation solar energy cells.

Innovative devices that convert sunlight to electric power more efficiently and cost effectively than the current generation of solar cell technology are the objects of a global pursuit -- means to reducing fossil-fuel consumption and to securing pole position in the competition for fast-growing international markets for clean energy sources.

As reported in the journal Applied Optics, the NIST team has combined 32 LEDs -- each generating light from different segments of the solar spectrum -- and other off-the-shelf equipment with their custom-made technologies to build a system that measures the wavelength-dependent quantum efficiency of solar devices over a relatively large area.

Anticipated advantages over current approaches -- most of which use incandescent lamps or xenon arc and other types of discharge lamps -- are greater speed and ease of operation, more uniform illumination, and a service life that is about 10 times longer.

The new NIST system for measuring spectral response easily accommodates two unique but complementary methods for determining how much electric current a solar, or photovoltaic (PV), device generates when hit by a standard amount of sunlight. Both methods are straightforward, and they use the same hardware setup.

With either method, the automated system produces measurements more rapidly than current instruments used to simulate solar radiation and characterize how efficiently a device converts light energy to electric energy.

One method, which activates the LED lights sequentially, is less subject to interference than the other technique, and yields a spectral response measurement in about 6 minutes. With the other method, all 32 LEDs are activated simultaneously, but each generates pulses of light at a different rate. The solar response of a PV device over the entire LED-blended spectrum can be determined in about 4 seconds.

Though more susceptible to interference, the faster method has potential for in-line manufacturing tests for ensuring quality, the researchers write.

The new system represents a major stride toward a technical goal set by a group of solar energy experts convened by NIST in late 2010. "To accelerate all types of PV development and lower costs through more accurate assessment of performance," these experts set the goal to achieve spectral response measurements in fewer than 10 minutes.

While the new system beats the time requirement, the NIST team must push their technology further to match related targets that are part of the goal. Their to-do list includes matching or exceeding the energy intensity of the sun, broadening the LED-synthesized spectrum to include the infrared portion of the sun's output, and consistently achieving measurement results with uncertainties of less than 1 percent.

With their work to date, however, the NIST researchers have demonstrated that LEDs are now "technologically viable" for use in solar simulators and for characterizing PV and other photoelectric devices, says NIST physicist Behrang Hamadani.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Behrang H. Hamadani, John Roller, Brian Dougherty, Howard W. Yoon. Versatile light-emitting-diode-based spectral response measurement system for photovoltaic device characterization. Applied Optics, 2012; 51 (19): 4469 DOI: 10.1364/AO.51.004469

Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726135226.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2012, July 26). Measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726135226.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726135226.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins