Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation

PhotoClass project (2014-2017)

Metrology Research Institute is involved in European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) project PhotoClass - "Towards an Energy-Based Parameter for Photovoltaic Classification".

Global solar cell (photovoltaic) market volume is approximately 50 billion euros per year. Solar cells are sold according to their output power, which is measured under standardized test conditions. These conditions represent a cloudless sunny day in the middle of the USA, with an unrealistically low device temperature. The environmental conditions in Europe differ significantly from the standard test conditions leading to inaccurate estimates of the energy generated under real operating conditions. Due to the high volume of photovoltaic markets, an uncertainty of 1% in the solar cell energy yield estimation leads to a financial inaccuracy of 500 million euros.

In the EU project "Towards an energy-based parameter for photovoltaic classification" new international standards were developed. The project developed a new classification system of photovoltaic devices based on their energy output under different climate zones that led to the new standard IEC 61853. This reliable data enables governments and industry to make informed decisions over which photovoltaic technologies are most suitable.

Metrology Research Institute developed new methods and measurement instruments for characterizing the spectral response and reflectance of silicon based photovoltaics devices. In addition to new standards, several scientific publications and conference presentations were produced.

Contact person: Hans Baumgartner

More information about the project can be found at the project website:

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