Alphacore Inc. will develop a high-accuracy built-in self-test (BIST) system for characterization of aging, degradation, available power and in-situ diagnosis of photovoltaic and multi-pack battery systems using low-complexity single-chip impedance spectroscopy (IS) approach. Alphacore will collaborate with Arizona State University (ASU) scientists to develop a low complexity single-chip photovoltaic cell self-test and instrumentation module to achieve:
a) In-situ health and reliability monitoring of solar panel and reporting cell status.
b) In-situ characterization of complex impedance characteristics of solar panel or cell over extended periods of time.
c) A periodic self-diagnostic mode to characterize the connectivity of the solar panel or cell.
d) A digital interface that can generate immediate response to failing cells or panels and short / disconnected cells.
e) A model to utilize state parameters including terminal voltage, load current, and PV complex impedance model for correlating the efficiency of the battery.
Alphacore Inc. will also develop techniques to extend these approaches to detecting and monitoring Li-Ion battery packs and other charge storage and distribution systems’ health status. The IS device will provide real-time monitoring capability of solar cell and panel C-V and capacity conditions. In response to the output of this module, the safety and connectivity modifications will be made while still maintaining cell-level specific energy.
Alphacore’s PV monitoring ASIC will be able to characterize the complex impedance of individual cells and panels from DC to 100kHz, with 11bit (0.05%) accuracy. The spectral self-test would be completed in less than 1 Secs, and will take less than 4mA of DC current during operation. By monitoring the complex impedance for a given terminal voltage and current, a comprehensive model for the aging of the PV cells will be formed and updated.
*High Energy Physics (HEP) experiments (e.g., CERN) particle detection
*Medical irradiation and imaging systems
*Nuclear weapon proliferation monitoring
*LEO telecommunications satellites
*GEO telecommunication satellites