Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics

PV-Enerate project (2017-2020)

Metrology Research Institute is involved in European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) project PV-Enerate - "Advanced PV Energy Rating".

Renewable electricity will increasingly be used to drive cars, generate heat and produce goods in factories, and in doing so primarily use technologies that replace a large amount of fuel with a small amount of renewable electricity. To minimise costs of energy storage, around one third of the renewable energy will be produced by photovoltaics. This impedes the uptake of emerging and innovative technologies, such as modules optimised for specific climates.

Between the years 2000 and 2015 the total annual growth rate of photovoltaic installations has been as high as 42%. The vast majority of solar cell production is based on silicon structures. Solar cells have several parameters describing their performance, such as rated power, efficiency, open circuit voltage, and short-circuit current. From the customers’ point of view, the most important parameters are probably the rated power and the energy conversion efficiency which tells how well the energy of sunlight is converted to electricity. Similar types of solar cells and panels are typically priced by their efficiency so reliable characterization is essential.

 

LED carousel
Spectral responsivity of the solar cells are measured using a custom LED carousel providing a quasi-monochromatic light source.

Currently solar cells are optimised, selected and sold on the basis of power produced under standard test conditions (STC). However, this metric does not always reflect real-world conditions as location-dependent variations in ambient temperature, irradiance, angle-of-incidence, spectrum and wind-speed cause deviations in annually-averaged module efficiencies of up to 20%. To achieve comparable measurement results for the rated power and efficiency between different institutes and laboratories, the spectral responsivity of the solar cell device plays an important role. Metrology Research Institute has develop a new type of LED (Light-Emitting Diode) based measurement facility to characterize the differential spectral responsivity of solar cells. Such a device is available only in Aalto University and is unique in the world.

Contact person: Hans Baumgartner

 

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

http://www.pv-enerate.ptb.de/

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