Accelerating time-to-market for new types of photovoltaic cells and applications
Photovoltaic (PV) energy generation has an important role in realising EU targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The amount of generation capacity growth will be strongly influenced by economic factors. So, if installation costs continue to fall, demand will likely follow, creating a virtuous cycle of investments in new, potentially more efficient, technologies. Additional, so far under-exploited, applications such as installations within building structures or for powering Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices might also become viable. However, international standards for measuring cell energy outputs are inaccurate for shaded or indoor locations, and for promising alternative cell technologies, with the effect of inflating development costs.
The project will develop reference devices and measurement procedures to improve power output measurement accuracies for technologies such as multi-junction and perovskite cells. A quality metric for PV power output sensitivity in shady locations will also be developed. Methods for measuring the performance of PV-based energy-harvesting devices for IoT applications under low-light conditions will also be developed and validated. Take-up of technologies developed in the project will then be promoted by contributing to improved international standards. If adopted, the industry will then be able to further optimise products to realistic operating conditions. This will reduce research and development risks and accelerate cost reductions of photovoltaics, and so encourage increased investment in capacity.