Calibrated Photovoltaic Reference Cells

Use NREL traceable reference cells to ensure accurate light source settings.

Reference cells are most commonly used to set the intensity of a light source to a particular test condition (e.g. one-sun) for I-V measurements.

Reference cells include a rugged enclosure, solar cell, temperature sensor, and protective window. Cell type, temperature sensor, and window material can be selected to meet your requirements.

PV Measurements, Inc. can provide reference cells with or without calibration. When ordered with calibration, the customer receives calibration certificates citing traceability to NREL as well as I-V and spectral response data.

Features of Most Common Configuration

  • Industry lowest profile
  • Low thermal mass
  • May be used outside (not designed for continuous outdoor use) or with solar simulators
  • 2 cm by 2 cm square silicon solar cell
  • Close thermal contact between solar cell and enclosure
  • Temperature sensor 4-wire contact to the solar cell
  • BK7 glass window
  • Broad-spectrum, low-reflectivity coating behind window and surrounding solar cell
  • Mounting hole pattern (62 mm X 62 mm) compatible with WPVS reference cell design

Reference Cell Selection Guide

Use the table below to guide you through the selection of reference cell to minimize the spectral mismatch between the reference cell and your device.

Your Device Cell and Window Materials
Mono-crystalline Silicon (c-Si)
Multi-crystalline Si (mc-Si)
Cadmium Indium Gallium di-Selenide (CIGS)
Mono-crystalline Si with BK7 or Quartz
Amorphous Si (a-Si)
Dye sensitized cells (DSC or DSSC)
Si with KG1, KG2, KG3, KG5
Amorphous Si/Microcrystalline (a-Si/μc-Si) Si with KG2 and RG610
Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)
Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)
GaAs with BK7 or Quartz


Ensure a minimal spectral mismatch factor using a photovoltaic reference cell that is optimized for your research. The table below gives you a list of common options used in solar cell research. If you are looking for an option not listed below, contact us and we will help you with the creation of the optimum reference solar cell for your research.

Property Options
Solar cell material c-Si
Your solar cell
Window material BK7
Custom filtering
Temperature sensor Thermocouple:K, J, T
Solar cell size 20 mm x 20 mm
10 mm x 10 mm
8 mm diameter aperture
Custom aperture or size
Calibration ISO-17025 accredited

Other options are available; please contact us to discuss your requirements.

PV Measurements, Inc. presents: The Optimum Photovoltaic Reference Cell for Your Research

Call +1 303.386.3950 or email to discuss your photovoltaic characterization needs.