Contact Resistivity and Sheet Resistance Measurements of Cells Extracted from Field-aged Modules

Archana Sinha, Fang Li, Viswa Sai Pavan Buddha, Eric J. Schneller, Kristopher O. Davis, Govindasamy Tamizhmani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


The electrical performance of a photovoltaic (PV) module is greatly hindered by the existence of parasitic resistance losses, such as high series resistance (Rs) and low shunt resistance (Rsh). Contact resistance at metal grid/semiconductor interface and emitter sheet resistance are two major contributors to cell Rs. Transmission Line Measurement (TLM) is a powerful method to estimate these resistance components. This paper presents the application of the TLM method to the cell strips extracted from field-aged PV modules at two different climates (Arizona and Florida) of the same design to investigate the influence of encapsulant material and microcracks on the contact resistivity and sheet resistance of the solar cell. The cells were initially extracted from the module laminate by dissolving the encapsulant polymer in trichloroethylene (TCE) solvent at 80oC for around 3 hours. The recovered cell was then used to cut into rectangular strips of 1.5 cm wide. The effective contact resistivity and emitter sheet resistance between two fingers in each strip were measured and compared to quantify the contact degradation induced from longer field aging. The Arizona module suffered from higher resistance as compared to the Florida module due probably to longer field exposure and higher operating temperatures. This method serves as a good diagnostic tool to anticipate and understand the severity of the contact degradation of solar cells in the fielded modules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 46th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781728104942
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 16 2019Jun 21 2019

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Conference46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • cell extraction
  • contact resistivity
  • microcrack
  • photovoltaic module
  • series resistance
  • sheet resistivity
  • transmission line method
  • trichloroethylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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