Accessing the performance of individual cells of fully encapsulated PV modules using a commercial digital light processing projector

Accessing the electrical parameters of individual cells in fully encapsulated photovoltaic (PV) modules can be a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure. It usually requires mechanical shading, which is achieved by using meshes. This limits the control and variability of shading, as there is always a limited variety of mesh patterns available. In this work digital projection technology is utilised as the light source to achieve this. Partial shading can be applied rapidly and performance parameters of individual cells in fully encapsulated modules can be acquired. This is demonstrated in this work using a custom mini module. Individual cells can be accessed even in the case that bypass diodes are included. Performance information of individual cells acquired with such a system can be used for studying upscaling losses or degradation mechanisms for commercial or research PV modules.