Characterisation of Photovoltaic Cells

Our client is a world leader in the design and manufacture of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar mounting systems, and solar inverters.

The requirement

Due to the increased number of defective parts resulting in high manufacturing costs, our client needed a test system to test and measure the photovoltaic cell characteristics of their solar panels. This enabled the test engineers to determine the conversion efficiency and critical equivalent circuit parameters such as short-circuit current, open-circuit voltage, and the operating power of the solar panels to increase the quality, reliability, and efficiency of their finished products.

The solution

solar-panel-testing.jpg For this project, the Amplicon engineering team designed a turnkey test system that comprised of an Amplicon Impact-R 3030 3U industrial computer featuring the Intel' i5 processor and an Agilent B2900A series precision source/measure unit. The Amplicon industrial PC equipped with 500GB SATA HDD was utilised for data storage. The Agilent B2900A series was the key element of the test system as it offered the ability to source/sink up to 3.3A with 1% accuracy, which was essential for the IV characterisation. The low noise, high impedance, integrated 4-quadrant source and measure capabilities of the Agilent B2900A offered a cost-effective alternative solution to using expensive, high powered programmable power supplies for the photovoltaic cell characterisation. The B2900A series has free PC application software that enabled the test engineers to facilitate program development and quickly test and measure the IV characteristics of their solar panels.


The expertise of the Amplicon engineering team coupled with the comprehensive range of measurement & control products gave the client the ability to dramatically improve the critical manufacturing processes and reduce the number of defective parts.

Why Amplicon?

Amplicon took complete ownership of this project by supplying a cost-effective test system that rapidly increased productivity, reliability and testing throughput. This was achieved by a close working relationship with the engineering team and the end result gave demonstrable productions improvements in a cost-effective test system.