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Solar Cell and Photovoltaic Cell Standards

Updated on July 8, 2020
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Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

Photovoltaic cells are the technical term for solar cells. Solar cells, also called PV cells for short, may produce electricity, heat or both. Most solar cells or photovoltaic cells are either concentrators or non-concentrators. Concentrators collect the lights before focusing it onto a solar cell. Non-concentrators are the classic solar cell design, with a flat solar cell collecting all light that hits it.

There are a number of industrial standards related to the manufacturing, qualification for use and performance requirements for solar cells.

Renewable energy technology like solar panels have been evolving rapidly. Solar technology standards are scattered across many standards organizations, with many solar power standards obsoleted by changes in the technology.
Renewable energy technology like solar panels have been evolving rapidly. Solar technology standards are scattered across many standards organizations, with many solar power standards obsoleted by changes in the technology. | Source

ASTM Active Solar Cell Standards

ASTM E948 is the standard test to determine the electrical performance of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells, by placing reference cells under simulated sun light. This standard for testing solar panels is ANSI approved.

ASTM E1362 is the test method of the calibration of non-concentrator PV secondary reference cells. ASTM E1362 is ANSI approved. ASTM E1021 is the test used to measure the spectral response of solar cells. ASTM E1021 is ANSI approved.
ASTM E2236 describes the method of testing the electrical performance as well as the spectral response of non-concentrator PV cells. ASTM E1040 gives the physical specifications for non-concentrator photovoltaic reference cells.
ASTM E1125 describes the standard process for calibrating non-concentrator PV reference cells using a tabular spectrum. ASTM E1036 gives the test procedure for measuring the electrical performance of Earth-based non-concentrator PV cells in modules and arrays against reference cells.

JEDEC Standards for Solar Cells

JEDEC Association used to be known as the Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council. JEDEC EIA standard 365 is the standard test procedure for solar cells used in space vehicles and their calibration. JEDEC standard 365 is shared with the Electronic Industries Alliance or EIA.

European Standards for Solar Cells

BS EN 50461 is the European standard for product data and datasheets on silicon solar cells. BS EN 60904 gives the requirements for reference solar cells. This European standard references IEC standard 904.
BS EN 50513 gives the data sheet requirements for the silicon wafers used in solar cell manufacturing. BS EN 61427 and IEC 61427 are the standards for the secondary cells and batteries in photovoltaic systems and methods to test them.

ISO Standards for PV Cells

ISO 23038 is the standard for the testing of solar cells intended for use in space for its resistance to electron and proton irradiation.

ISO 15387 gives the standard calibration procedures for photovoltaic cells used in space.

Military Standards for Solar Cells

The United States Department of Defense issued many military specifications or military standards that were adopted by American manufacturers until international standards for the same type of equipment were adopted.

MIL-S-83576 was the military standard for solar cell arrays designed for use in space vehicles. This standard was cancelled in 1996. MIL-C-83443 was the military specification for silicon solar cells. This standard was cancelled in 1995.

PV cells for use in defense applications today are manufactured according to ASTM, ANSI or ISO standards.

ASTM Withdrawn Solar Cell Standards

ASTM International has issued many solar cell standards that have since been withdrawn without being replaced. Engineers often come across these withdrawn PV standards when working with drawings for older solar cells and PV systems. ASTM E973 was the standard for determining the spectral mismatch between a photovoltaic cell and a reference cell.

ASTM E973M was the metric version of this standard. Both standards have been withdrawn without being replaced. ASTM 1039 was the test procedure for calibrating silicon non-concentrator PV secondary reference cells. This standard was withdrawn in 1999 without a replacement.
ASTM E1144 was the method of testing the calibration of primary reference PV cells under direct irradiance. This standard was withdrawn in 1987.

Related Standards for Solar Power Systems

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics or AIAA has also created solar cell standards for those PV cells used in space. AIAA S-111 is the standard for qualification of solar cells for use in space. IEEE 307 gave the standard terms and definitions used for solar cells. This standard has been withdrawn.


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