Characterisation of Performance of Thin-film Photovoltaic Technologies

Silverman, Timothy J. and Jahn, Ulrike and Friesen, Gabi and Pravettoni, Mauro and Apolloni, Marco and Louwen, Atse and van Sark, WGJHM and Schweiger, Markus and Belluardo, Giorgio and Wagner, Jochen and Tetzlaff, Anke and Ingenhoven, P. and Moser, David (2014) Characterisation of Performance of Thin-film Photovoltaic Technologies. Technical Report. UNSPECIFIED.

[img] Text
IEA-PVPS_T13-02_2014_Characterization_ThinFilm_Modules.pdf - Published Version

Download (4MB)


The International Energy Agency (IEA), founded in November 1974, is an autonomous body within the framework of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which carries out a comprehensive programme of energy co-operation among its member countries. The European Union also participates in the work of the IEA. Collaboration in research, development and demonstration of new technologies has been an important part of the Agency’s Programme. The IEA Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (PVPS) is one of the collaborative R&D Agreements established within the IEA. Since 1993, the PVPS participants have been conducting a variety of joint projects in the application of photovoltaic conversion of solar energy into electricity. The mission of the IEA PVPS programme is: To enhance the international collaborative efforts which facilitate the role of photovoltaic solar energy as a cornerstone in the transition to sustainable energy systems. The underlying assumption is that the market for PV systems is rapidly expanding to significant penetrations in grid-connected markets in an increasing number of countries, connected to both the distribution network and the central transmission network. This strong market expansion requires the availability of and access to reliable information on the performance and sustainability of PV systems, technical and design guidelines, planning methods, financing, etc., to be shared with the various actors. In particular, the high penetration of PV into main grids requires the development of new grid and PV inverter management strategies, greater focus on solar forecasting and storage, as well as investigations of the economic and technological impact on the whole energy system. New PV business models need to be developed, as the decentralised character of photovoltaics shifts the responsibility for energy generation more into the hands of private owners, municipalities, cities and regions. The overall programme is headed by an Executive Committee composed of representatives from each participating country and organization, while the management of individual research projects (Tasks) is the responsibility of Operating Agents. By late 2013, fourteen Tasks were established within the PVPS programme, of which six are currently operational. The overall objective of Task 13 is to improve the reliability of photovoltaic systems and subsystems by collecting, analysing and disseminating information on their technical performance and failures, providing a basis for their assessment, and developing practical recommendations for sizing purposes. The current members of the IEA PVPS Task 13 include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States of America. Performance characterization for thin-film PV modules requires special care because of the complex nature of the devices compared to first-generation PV devices. This report addresses the characterization of PV modules in solar simulators and in field conditions. We review the previous work on best practices for pre-conditioning and indoor measurements and propose a new method for stabilisation of modules without light exposure. Special considerations for bifacial PV modules are also discussed. After summarizing previous studies on characterization of field performance, we present a new, uniform analysis of international field data from many contributors. Finally, we present case studies related to the effects of spectrum on outdoor performance. The editors of the document are Timothy J Silverman, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, USA, and Ulrike Jahn, TÜV Rheinland Energie und Umwelt GmbH, Cologne, Germany (DEU). The report expresses, as closely as possible, the international consensus of opinion of the Task 13 experts on the subject at hand. Further information on the activities and results of the Task can be found at:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item