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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation



    Mayfield West, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Emerging Renewables Program

  • Start date

    30 November 2015

    End date

    31 March 2019

  • Project Partners
    This solar PV project was completed on 31 March 2019.


This project will establish guidelines for measuring the performance of emerging photovoltaic (PV) technologies such as perovskite solar cells. The guidelines will help to ensure Australian research laboratories have access to a best practice methodology that is reliable, transferable and accurately reflects the true performance of the devices in the outdoor environment.

Key results

  • Two primary sources of error commonly observed during engagement with researcher partners can be traced to correctly setting the illumination level and ensuring the device temperature remains at the reference value. Temperature control is particularly important for any measurements with a significant duration such as Dynamic IV and settled power output (SPO)/settled current at fixed voltage (SCFV). Appropriately calibrated reference cells should be used that have a spectral response similar to the DUT and mismatch corrections should be applied. Lamp characterisation (homogeneity, temporal stability) and correct sample positioning are also required to ensure the illumination level remains correct.
  • The use of Dynamic I-V works well for producing hysteresis free I-V curves and is more closely representative of steady-state conditions. Such curves are a requirement to ensure the measured values are representative of the true device performance. Care should be taken to ensure that the appropriate settling time constants and assessment periods are used to achieve truly reproducible results.
  • The use of settled power output (SPO)/settled current at fixed voltage (SCFV) is able to achieve good estimates of device performance when the bias voltage is well chosen.
  • Both careful stabilisation and pre-conditioning steps are required for repeatable stable measurements. Verification of this should be performed through repeated measurement steps for the stabilisation.
  • Regardless of approach all steps (including device history) should be reported. This includes any rest periods and resting voltage bias levels the device is exposed to prior to measurement as well as a steps used for stabilisation and pre-conditioning.
  • Results that are not independently certified may have errors of at least ±10 % when the above conditions are not considered.

Project innovation

The project will reduce the risk of scientific misinterpretation and misdirected research by tackling the unresolved challenges in measuring the efficiency of perovskite and related emerging PV devices.

It will produce a set of guidelines for accurate assessment of emerging PV device efficiency, which can be used to perform high accuracy measurements at accredited laboratories. The guidelines will help researchers to understand the minimum requirements for desired levels of measurement accuracy. The project will also assess how fabrication processes affect the efficiency of emerging PV devices.

The project will build on other ARENA support for CSIRO ‘s PV Performance Laboratory, the only laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere accredited for PV cell measurement against required international standards. CSIRO has been working with Australian and international partners to develop and disseminate best-practice guidelines for research measurement excellence in Australia, build consensus on guideline suitability with other accredited laboratories and promote the use of these methods in Australian research laboratories.


The guidelines will provide technical guidance for researchers, funding bodies and industry on the potential of new photovoltaic technologies, such as perovskite solar cells, using a standard approach for performance assessment.

By addressing a crucial barrier to reliable assessment of device performance, the project will accelerate development and commercialisation pathways for Australian- developed PV technologies.

The project will build capacity and develop important skills for assessing emerging PV device performance, increase the investment potential for breakthrough technologies, drive innovation, and overcome roadblocks for the developers of promising PV technologies.

It will also help CSIRO strengthen strategic partnerships between Australia and international researchers at accredited laboratories, as well as facilitate access to critical testing facilities and expertise available through the PV Performance Laboratory.

Last updated 23 March 2021
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