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New energy rating metrics will provide better, fairer testing of emerging photovoltaic technologies
Completed EMPIR project Advanced PV energy rating (16ENG02, PV-Enerate) improved PV energy rating standards, measurement equipment and methodologies to enable precise measurements of the parameters required for the energy rating of photovoltaic (PV) modules under real-world conditions. Adopting this metric better aligns the interests of the manufacturer and customer, provides a fairer comparison between different PV technologies, and improves the accuracy of financial models. This will accelerate time-to-market for emerging PV technologies, which have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of solar energy.
PV module performance measurements and energy rating training course
The project consortium have developed the freely available PV module performance measurements and energy rating training course, featuring 9 detailed articles in 3 modules on metrology for energy rating of photovoltaics. The aim of this course is to introduce the audience to PV module metrology for power and energy rating, describe the necessary components, equipment and procedures for measurements of PV modules according to the standards and act like a good practice guide for PV metrologists and laboratories.
This course also intends to train PV metrologists in the use of PV energy rating and establish a good practice guide for energy rating measurements of PV modules and uncertainty calculations. Metrologists will also be introduced into guidelines in measuring non-conventional PV modules, such as bifacial technology products.
Currently running EMPIR project Metrology for emerging PV applications (19ENG01, Metro-PV) is building on this work. Material from the course described above was made publicly available in a Wiki about PV metrology.
Other project successes
Some of the successes resulting from the work of this project are:
The project consortium has provided input to IEC technical specification IEC TS 60904-1-2:2019 Photovoltaic devices – Part 1-2: Measurement of current-voltage characteristics of bifacial photovoltaic (PV) devices
The development of a non-destructive method for the fast measurement of current-voltage characteristics of each solar cell within a module using digital light projection and other modulation techniques.
An LED based module solar simulator was built up and characterised at PTB. It significantly extends the measurement possibilities that would be obtained by use of state-of-the-art sun simulators that use flashing xenon bulbs. The new simulator contains more than 16 000 LEDs. In the meantime, it is in use for regular calibrations of solar modules for customers.
A general guideline Calibrating spectrometers for measurements of the spectral irradiance caused by solar radiation that describes the implementation of measurement uncertainties including correlations in spectral mismatch calculations was developed and published as open access together with the source code.
Project Coordinator Stefan Winter from PTB said
‘In the 1980s the standard test conditions were developed and they marked a major step forward at the time. Since then, sales from PV installations have grown to over 100 billion euros per year and a more realistic rating system has become necessary. This project has not only developed the measurement technology for this, but also a training course that explains the background and applications of the Energy Rating.’
This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
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