Reliable & accurate characterisation of photovoltaic devices.
Take full control of your solar cell measurements with the system's easy-to-use PC software - no programming knowledge necessary!
Part of the Institute of Physics award-winning Ossila Solar Cell Prototyping platform , Ossila's Solar Cell I-V System is a low-cost solution for reliable characterisation of photovoltaic devices.
The PC software (included with all variants of the system) measures the current-voltage curve of a solar cell and then automatically calculates key device properties. Furthermore, I-V measurements can be performed periodically over time to track the stability of these properties.
The system is available with either manual or automatic pixel switching (if you are using one of Ossila's substrate systems), or without a test board for use with your own substrate and testing system (or if you already own one of our test boards). This system is covered by our FREE 2-year warranty.
Calculates Device Properties - The PC software (included with the system) automatically calculates key properties of solar cells from the measured I-V curves. These properties include: the power conversion efficiency (PCE), fill factor (FF), short-circuit current density (Jsc), open-circuit voltage (Voc), shunt resistance (Rsh), and series resistance (Rs).
Easy-to-Use - Just plug in the system, install the PC software, and you're ready to go! The intuitive interface and clean design makes the Solar Cell I-V System easy-to-use, simplifying the characterisation of solar cells.
Wide Measurement Range - The built-in source measure unit is capable of delivering voltages between -10 V and +10 V, with a maximum resolution of 333 μV, and measuring currents from as low as ±10 nA up to ±150 mA.
Rapid Characterisation - If you are using one of our substrate systems, the Solar Cell I-V System can be purchased with a multiplexing test board (just select the 'automated' variant of your choice in the drop-down list), which enables automatic pixel switching. As an added bonus, the temperature and light will also be recorded during the measurement!
Measure Device Stability - By performing repeated current-voltage measurements over an extended period of time, the stability of key device properties can be tracked.
|System Type||No Test Board||Manual||Multiplexer|
|±10 V Source Range|
|±333 μV Source Resolution|
|±150 mA Measurement Range|
|±10 nA Measurement Resolution|
|Automatic Solar Cell Characterisation|
|Single Pixel Solar Lifetime Measurement|
|For Use With S101, S211, or S171 Substrates|
|Automatic Pixel Switching|
|Multiple Pixels Solar Lifetime Measurement|
- Simple and intuitively-designed interface
- Data saved to .csv file
- Calculates solar cell properties (PCE, FF, Jsc, Voc, Rsh, Rs)
- Track properties over time
- Measure the stabilised current output of a solar cell
- Save and load previously used settings
The current-voltage measurement is controlled using intuitive and user-friendly PC software. All of the measurements can be fully customised, allowing you to tailor the software to your experiment.
With the PC software, you can:
- Perform current-voltage measurements anywhere between -10 and 10V.
- Take high resolution measurements, with voltage increments as low as 333 µV.
- Manage the experiment more directly, with custom settle times between applying voltage and measuring current.
- Measure device hysteresis by perform consecutive measurements in forwards and backward directions.
The software has 3 measurement tabs: Solar Cell Characterisation, Stabilised Current Output, and Solar Lifetime Measurement. Solar Cell Characterisation performs I-V measurements and calculates the important device properties. Determine how the current output of your device evolves over time using the Stabilised Current Output tab. The Solar Lifetime Measurement tab enables you to track key device properties (PCE, FF, Jsc, Voc) over an extended time by performing periodic I-V characterisation. Between measurements the solar cell can be held at open-circuit, short-circuit, or maximum power.
Data is saved to .csv (comma-separated values) files, which are formatted to be easy to read and analyse. Settings are saved along with the data, making it easier to keep a record of the parameters used for each experiment. These settings files can be loaded by the program, and settings profiles can be saved for each different measurement type, allowing you to easily perform repeat measurements or use particular configurations.
System Selection Guide
The table below will help you determine which system is right for you. The manual version of the system has switches on the test board itself, which the user operates to measure the different pixels on a solar cell device. The automated version of the system uses a multiplexing test board, which switches between these pixels automatically. Note, if you use one of our substrates listed in the table and another kind of substrate as well, we recommend manual pixel switching, as the test board can be detached and replaced with another one.
|Pixel Switching||S211||S101||S171||Other Substrates|
|Automated||Automated - S211 (T2003B)||Automated - S101 (T2003A)||Automated - S171 (T2003C)||-|
|Manual||Manual - S211 (T2002B)*||Manual - S101 (T2002A)||Manual - S171 (T2002B)*||-|
|Source Measure Unit Only||-||-||-||Source Measure Unit Only (T2002D)|
*Both the Manual - S211 and Manual - S171 use the same test board and product code.
|Voltage Source||±333 μV to ±10 V|
|Current Measurement||10 nA to 150 mA|
|Substrate Size||20 mm x 15 mm|
|Substrate Compatibility - T2002A/T2003A||S101 (OLED substrates)|
|Substrate Compatibility - T2002B/T2003B||S211 (PV substrates)|
|Substrate Compatibility - T2002B/T2003C||S171 (Pixelated cathode substrates)|
|Overall Dimensions - Manual||
Source Measure Unit:
Width: 125 mm
Height: 55 mm
Depth: 185 mm
Width: 105 mm
Height: 40 mm
Depth: 125 mm
|Overall Dimensions - Automated||Width: 155 mm
Height: 73 mm
Depth: 317 mm
|Operating System||Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)|
|CPU||Dual Core 2 GHz|
|Available Hard Drive Space||178 MB|
|Monitor Resolution||1680 x 1050|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0, or Ethernet (requires DHCP)|
Current-voltage measurements (I-V curves) are the primary measurement for charactising solar cells. Here, the current flowing through the device is measured at different voltages whilst it is under illumination.
There are several key properties that can be extracted from the I-V curve of a solar, which are shown on the diagram above.
- The short-circuit current density (Jsc) is the photogenerated current density of the solar cell when there is no driving voltage, and can be extracted from the intercept with the y-axis.
- The open-circuit voltage (Voc) is the voltage at which the applied voltage cancels out the built-in electric field, and can be extracted from the intercept with the x-axis.
- The fill factor (FF) is the ratio of the actual output power of the device to its power if there were no parasitic resistances. This can be calculated by dividing the maximum power output of the device by the product of the Jsc and the Voc (the potential maximum power).
- Finally, the power conversion efficiency (PCE), the ratio of incident light power (Pin) to output electrical power (Pout), is calculated using the following equation:
For a more in-depth explanation about the characterisation of solar cells, check out our guide on solar cell theory and measurement.
More Test Systems
To the best of our knowledge the technical information provided here is accurate. However, Ossila assume no liability for the accuracy of this information. The values provided here are typical at the time of manufacture and may vary over time and from batch to batch.