DRI has developed a photovoltaic testing facility to properly measure and characterize the performance of a solar photovoltaic cell. Operating procedures are based on the ASTM E948-09 standard; however, the facility is meant for quick tests to screen products before costly cell evaluation from a certified facility. The testing apparatus consists of a Newport Corporation solar simulator, Keithley source meter and mounting device for the photovoltaic cell. The test setup can be seen here.
The solar simulator provides a calibrated amount of energy intensity equal to one sun onto a test cell. The source meter can then vary voltage or current to the cell in order to measure the voltage or current output. Upon completion of a test, data is quickly analyzed and outputs results in graphical format such as the figure here.