Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EU sets worldwide standard for solar cells

14.10.2003


Increased use of renewable sources is central to the European Commission’s energy policy. The EU has set itself the goal of doubling renewable sources’ share of overall energy production to 12% by 2010. It was a step in the right direction when the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) voted to adopt procedures proposed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). These actions would establish the traceability of photovoltaic (PV) solar cell references to SI standards. This clears the way for worldwide acceptance of calibration processes developed at the JRC European Solar Test Installation (ESTI), leading to harmonisation in the global PV market.



"Many countries and international bodies have taken an active interest in renewable and alternative energy technologies such as PV solar cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity without producing harmful emissions or noise,” says Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. “Falling costs and rising yields mean photovoltaic sales have grown by 33% worldwide in 2003. JRC efforts will lead to increased competitiveness and vitality for the EU PV market, and foster collaboration among industry and the scientific community."

Key role for renewable energy


The Commission intends to double the contribution of renewable energy to 12% by 2010 and is planning for a major increase in European PV capacity to 3GWp. However, industry is making ever-greater demands for quality and efficiency in the development and marketing of its products. The JRC’s role involves performance and lifetime assessment of the technologies involved and precision reference measurements on all generations of PV technology to ensure that the highest quality can be achieved.

Extensive experience in solar energy

Standardisation requires a sustained effort to keep pace with new developments as the international trade in products and services continues to grow. The JRC has worked since 1981 to establish such quality standards in solar energy production, supply, deployment and use. This effort includes research on advanced solar cell concepts, development of measurement and test methodologies, and services for calibration and type approval of prototypes and products. Reference cells calibrated by methods developed by the JRC European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) are used both by research organisations and industry to determine the efficiency and power of solar cells.

Whilst research emphasis is on achieved efficiency to verify progress in technology, industry requires precise measurement of power output for fixing the retail price in a market where competition is based on price per power output. The new JRC calibration procedures reduce uncertainty in power ratings of photovoltaic generators to ±1.5%. As worldwide sales are related to this calibration, the uncertainty corresponds to an approximate product value of € 33 million.

Reference cell calibration

ESTI offers an independently verified calibration and testing laboratory for PV components. Its calibration can be performed for a moderate cost almost anywhere in the world with reasonable weather conditions. Solar radiation is determined by a commercial cavity radiometer, which measures the electrical energy required to heat an ideal black receiver to the same temperature achieved when the receiver is exposed to sunlight. This enables the photon flux to be related to electrical quantities, which can be easily referenced to national standards.

While solar cells are sensitive to changes in the spectral content of sunlight, black receivers are not. ESTI’s method compensates for this by requiring calibration at different sun elevation angles, and interpolating the values to the standardised elevation of 42°. The physical quantities measured are electrical current, voltage and length, for two instruments only – other current calibration methods require traceable spectral radiation and responsivity measurements, which are difficult to refer to physical standards.

Berta Duane | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jrc.cec.eu.int/

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Electron sandwich doubles thermoelectric performance
20.06.2018 | Hokkaido University

nachricht Agrophotovoltaics Goes Global: from Chile to Vietnam
20.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>