Accelerated spatially resolved electrical simulation of photovoltaic devices using photovoltaic-oriented nodal analysis

This paper presents photovoltaic-oriented nodal analysis (PVONA), a general and flexible tool for efficient spatially resolved simulations for photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. This approach overcomes the major problem of the conventional Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis-based approaches for solving circuit network models, which is the limited number of nodes that can be simulated due to memory and computing time requirements. PVONA integrates a specifically designed sparse data structure and a graphics processing unit-based parallel conjugate gradient algorithm into a PV-oriented iterative Newton--Raphson solver. This first avoids the complicated and time-consuming netlist parsing, second saves memory space, and third accelerates the simulation procedure. In the tests, PVONA generated the local current and voltage maps of a model with 316 x 316 nodes with a thin-film PV cell in 15 s, i.e., using only 4.6% of the time required by the latest LTSpice package. The 2-D characterization is used as a case study and the potential application of PVONA toward quantitative analysis of electroluminescence are discussed.