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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Energies 2017, 10(11), 1869;

Photovoltaic Device Performance Evaluation Using an Open-Hardware System and Standard Calibrated Laboratory Instruments

IDEA Research Group, Universidad de Jaén, Campus de Las Lagunillas, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Dpto. de Lenguajes y Ciencias de la Computación, Universidad de Málaga, Bulevar Louis Pasteur 35, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical Power and Energy System)
Full-Text   |   PDF [12992 KB, uploaded 15 November 2017]   |  


This article describes a complete characterization system for photovoltaic devices designed to acquire the current-voltage curve and to process the obtained data. The proposed system can be replicated for educational or research purposes without having wide knowledge about electronic engineering. Using standard calibrated instrumentation, commonly available in any laboratory, the accuracy of measurements is ensured. A capacitive load is used to bias the device due to its versatility and simplicity. The system includes a common part and an interchangeable part that must be designed depending on the electrical characteristics of each PV device. Control software, developed in LabVIEW, controls the equipment, performs automatic campaigns of measurements, and performs additional calculations in real time. These include different procedures to extrapolate the measurements to standard test conditions and methods to obtain the intrinsic parameters of the single diode model. A deep analysis of the uncertainty of measurement is also provided. Finally, the proposed system is validated by comparing the results obtained from some commercial photovoltaic modules to the measurements given by an independently accredited laboratory. View Full-Text
Keywords: I-V curve; outdoor measurements; uncertainty analysis; characterization system I-V curve; outdoor measurements; uncertainty analysis; characterization system

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Montes-Romero, J.; Piliougine, M.; Muñoz, J.V.; Fernández, E.F.; de la Casa, J. Photovoltaic Device Performance Evaluation Using an Open-Hardware System and Standard Calibrated Laboratory Instruments. Energies 2017, 10, 1869.

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