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Comparison of the performance of silicon and thin film solar cells at the laboratory of the University of Gävle
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The huge environmental awareness emerging last years by reason of global warming and greenhouse effect, on one hand, and the need of finding other sources of energy production and conversion due to the declining of fossil resources and the increasing cost of this kind of energy resource, on the other hand, both have led position renewable energies as a powerful alternative on the energy production and conversion.

PV-systems have emerged at an exponential rate in recent year as the main candidate and a satisfactory possibility with respect to environmental and economic sustainability.

Nowadays, the large volume on photovoltaic market is currently dominated by four types of solar cells, divided by the semiconductor material used to absorb light and convert the energy into electricity: (1) crystalline silicon (monocrystalline and polycrystalline), (2) amorphous silicon, (3) CIGS and (4) cadmium telluride; and among them, monocrystalline silicon and CIGS technologies are installed on the building 45 of the University of Gävle, at the south face of the laboratory.

In this context and with the motivation to contribute knowledge on PV field, a comparison between single crystal solar technology and thin film CIGS technology has carried out through f ratio and performance ratio procedures in order to perform an assessment of the energy conversion of each one under field conditions.

A logger monitors the power conversion from the PV modules since June 2014 while two pyranometers monitor global and diffuse solar radiation since March 2016. It must take into account that only clear sunny days have been considered during a period from 8:00 to 14:00 in order to avoid shadows effect on the PV systems.

The results come to conclude that single crystal silicon modules present a better behavior with respect to energy conversion under no shadows effect conditions by two reason: (1) f ratio, relationship of PV conversion per kW (PV yield) between CIGS and single crystal silicon, is about 87.25% with some variations along a day due to ambient temperature, cell temperature and incidence angle; (2) PV module's performance ratio of monocrystalline silicon modules is higher than thin film CIGS ones during a sunny day about 87.56% and 76.38%, respectively; and they are consistent with usual performance ratio values between 80% and 90% since 2010 onwards.

In light of the outcome and in order to confirm these conclusions, it intends to launch a project with the objective of evaluating the data collected and compare the performance of the module after a year of measurements outdoors by the PV module's performance ratio procedure.

Along the same lines, the next step of the University of Gävle will be to launch a project with the objective of evaluating the potential to be self-sufficient.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 46 p.
Keyword [en]
solar cell performance, crystalline silicon, thin film CIGS, energy conversion efficiency, performance ratio
National Category
Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22148OAI: diva2:948496
Subject / course
Energy systems
Educational program
Energy systems – master’s programme (one year) (swe or eng)
Available from: 2016-07-12 Created: 2016-07-12 Last updated: 2016-07-30Bibliographically approved

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