The interest in green and clean energy has increased significantly in recent years. Also, due to fossil fuel economics and spent fuel handling associated with nuclear power, renewable energy will play a major role in meeting the world's energy demand. Due to global warming, ozone depletion and other environmental concerns, the replacement technology is likely to be one free of strings like solar photovoltaic power, which produces very little pollution during its operation.
Several challenges present themselves when developing thin-film materials for large scale applications. While research on solar cells have achieved efficiencies comparable to single crystal silicon material, issues such as local defects and overall uniformity become increasingly important as the deposition area is increased. A technique for detecting such problems will be of great importance to the solar cell industry. Moreover, valuable information could be deduced from mapping the spatial distribution of localised properties of solar cells.
A laser beam induced current measurement (LBIC) technique is used to explore the effect of non-uniformity and defects in devices in the early part of the production stage and help explain lower efficiencies in certain types of solar cells. The equipment construction and the control system used to take measurements for analysis is viewed with the overall goal in mind: as a tool for assessing the homogeneity of thin film deposition, spatial variation of diode characteristics and local defects on device performance with the idea of improving production quality assessment system and hence the cell efficiency of economically viable solar cells.
This monograph serves as an excellent academic resource for Technicians, undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Renewable Energy Sector. Also, a good reference material for use by energy investors interested in the Solar Photovoltaic, Manufacturing companies in the solar industry, Control Engineers and Electric Utility Companies.
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