The current paper deals with the application of thermal transient testing as a characterization
tool for solar cells and modules. Based on the measurement of a representative samples
-including concentrator and non-concentrator solar cells - we prove the applicability
of this measurement technique. Metrics such as junction-to-base plate thermal resistance
are derived and can serve as a basis of a model for the accurate prediction of the
performance of solar modules.
The used technique also enables us to verify the quality of attachment layers in a
solar module allowing fair quality control and reliability analysis of these devices.
Solar cell specific measurement problems such as the possibly long initial transient
section due to electric switching are investigated; we have found that large area
solar cells tend to have electric responses lasting up to several hundred microseconds,
covering significant thermal information. As a solution for this problem the thermal
information covered by the initial electric transient was regained by fitting simulation
results to the measurement data.