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

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posted on 23.04.2015 by Xiaofeng Wu, Martin Bliss, Archana Sinha, Tom Betts, Rajesh Gupta, Ralph Gottschalg
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.


This work was supported in part by the Joint U.K.-India Initiative in Solar Energy through the Joint Project entitled Stability and Performance of Photovoltaics through the Research Councils U.K. Energy Programme in U.K. [grant number EP/H040331/1] and in part by the Department of Science and Technology, India.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices


WU, X. ... et al, 2015. Accelerated spatially resolved electrical simulation of photovoltaic devices using photovoltaic-oriented nodal analysis. IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, 62 (5), pp. 1390-1398




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This work is published by IEEE and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. For more information, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/