Many PV-plants suffer from potential induced degradation (PID) which causes severe power reduction of installed PVmodules. Fast and reliable methods to detect PID and evaluate the impact on the module performance are gaining importance. Drone-assisted IR-inspection is a suitable method. PID affected modules are detected by their characteristic IR-fingerprint, modules with differing number of slightly heated cells occur more frequently at the negative string end. These modules show a degraded IV-curve, lowered Voc and Isc, and electroluminescence (EL)-images with suspicious, dark cells. Also, the measured string power is reduced. For a first quantitative data evaluation the suspicious cell are counted in the IR-images and correlated with the module power. A linear decrease of the module power with increasing number of suspicious cells results. A correlation function for estimating the module power was deduced, which has a mean deviation of less than 7%. This correlation function allows an acceptable approximation of the string power.
CIGS thin film solar modules, despite their high efficiency, may contain three different kinds of macroscopic defects referred to as bulk defects, interface defects and interconnect defects. These occur due to the film’s sensitivity to inhomogeneities during the manufacturing process and decreasing the electrical power output from a cell or module. In this study, we present infrared (IR) imaging and contactless loss analyses of defects contained in commercially manufactured thin film solar modules. We investigated different relations between the emitted IR-signal (using illuminated lock-in thermography ILIT) and the respective open circuit cell voltage (Voc) as well as the maximum power point (Pmpp). A simulation study, using the 2D finite element method (FEM), provides a deeper understanding as to the impact on electrical performance when defects are present on the cell or module.