Impact of local non-uniformities on thin-film PV

J. R. Sites, G. T. Koishiyev, M. Topič

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Individual shunts and "weak diodes" can have a significant effect, one much larger than implied by their physical area, on the performance of laboratory-sized (~ 1cm2) solar cells. For larger areas typical of thin-film modules, the sheet resistance of the transparent contact minimizes the impact of a single, small-area non-uniformity. If there are significant numbers of shunts or weak diodes throughout a module, however, its performance may also be reduced. In this case, the number, the magnitude, the nature, and the distribution of the non-uniformities combine to affect the degree of reduction. In particular, a concentration of most shunts or weak diodes in a small number of module cells will be less destructive than if they are distributed among a greater number of cells. In the case of non-uniform illumination, however, module performance is less degraded if the shadowing is spread relatively uniformly over all or most of the cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThin Film Solar Technology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 23 2009
EventThin Film Solar Technology - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2009Aug 4 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherThin Film Solar Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Non-uniformity
  • Solar cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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