UNSW School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering
Understanding the fill factor by means of characterisation and simulation
Pietro Altermatt - Leibniz University Hannover

Pietro Altermatt, at UNSW SPREE, 19 March 2015

Pietro Altermatt (48Min)

Leibniz University Hannover

Pietro Altermatt speaks at UNSW SPREE


Among the IV parameters of solar cells, I find the fill factor often the most difficult one to understand. What influences the fill factor? How can we find the reasons for a low fill factor? How does the fill factor behave, say, in good PERC cells? Do IBC cells have an advantage in the fill factor? Understanding the fill factor often leads to the basic understanding of solar cells. This is why I shortly look at the basics in this seminar, and then go on to some generally applicable characterisation procedures that help to elucidate the dynamics of the fill factor. Finally, I give simulation examples to illustrate this mystical number.

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Brief Bio

Pietro P. Altermatt's main area of research has been the development of physical models for the numerical simulation of crystalline silicon solar cells and testing devices. Of equal interest to him is the application of these models to simulation strategies tailored to research, development and mass production. When Pietro worked at UNSW from 1993 until 2002, the UNSW high-efficiency cells were ideally suited for setting up generally valid physical models, because they suffered from very few non-ideal losses. When Pietro set up a modelling group at the Leibniz University Hannover (Germany) in 2005, the models were extended to industrially fabricated solar cells, working in close collaboration with the industry. Now, such simulations form the quantitative basis for improvement strategies in the PV industry, predicting the optimum device design, the necessary production equipment, and the feasible silicon material.