Loughborough University
Thesis-2017-Bedrich.pdf (36.15 MB)

Quantitative electroluminescence measurements of PV devices

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posted on 2017-11-06, 15:54 authored by Karl G. Bedrich
Electroluminescence (EL) imaging is a fast and comparatively low-cost method for spatially resolved analysis of photovoltaic (PV) devices. A Silicon CCD or InGaAs camera is used to capture the near infrared radiation, emitted from a forward biased PV device. EL images can be used to identify defects, like cracks and shunts but also to map physical parameters, like series resistance. The lack of suitable image processing routines often prevents automated and setup-independent quantitative analysis. This thesis provides a tool-set, rather than a specific solution to address this problem. Comprehensive and novel procedures to calibrate imaging systems, to evaluate image quality, to normalize images and to extract features are presented. For image quality measurement the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is obtained from a set of EL images. Its spatial average depends on the size of the background area within the EL image. In this work the SNR will be calculated spatially resolved and as (background independent) averaged parameter using only one EL image and no additional information of the imaging system. This thesis presents additional methods to measure image sharpness spatially resolved and introduces a new parameter to describe resolvable object size. This allows equalising images of different resolutions and of different sharpness allowing artefact-free comparison. The flat field image scales the emitted EL signal to the detected image intensity. It is often measured through imaging a homogeneous light source such as a red LCD screen in close distance to the camera lens. This measurement however only partially removes vignetting the main contributor to the flat field. This work quantifies the vignetting correction quality and introduces more sophisticated vignetting measurement methods. Especially outdoor EL imaging often includes perspective distortion of the measured PV device. This thesis presents methods to automatically detect and correct for this distortion. This also includes intensity correction due to different irradiance angles. Single-time-effects and hot pixels are image artefacts that can impair the EL image quality. They can conceivably be confused with cell defects. Their detection and removal is described in this thesis. The methods presented enable direct pixel-by-pixel comparison for EL images of the same device taken at different measurement and exposure times, even if imaged by different contractors. EL statistics correlating cell intensity to crack length and PV performance parameters are extracted from EL and dark I-V curves. This allows for spatially resolved performance measurement without the need for laborious flash tests to measure the light I-V- curve. This work aims to convince the EL community of certain calibration- and imaging routines, which will allow setup independent, automatable, standardised and therefore comparable results. Recognizing the benefits of EL imaging for quality control and failure detection, this work paves the way towards cheaper and more reliable PV generation. The code used in this work is made available to public as library and interactive graphical application for scientific image processing.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Karl Bedrich

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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