Solar modules automated test-measurement system

Solar modules automated test-measurement system

The research team intends to lower the integral costs of PV-modules, by developing a worldwide unique AAA-class In-Line steady state solar simulator (ILSS) prototype for the PV-industry that is validated on criteria for test speed (5 modules/minute), test accuracy, heat development, maintenance and lamp replacement costs.

Why do we need an automated test-measurement system for Solar modules? PV-module manufacturers require automated inline testing equipment that provide accurate information about PV-module performance with industrial robustness and low testing cost per module. 

Several factors affect a cell’s conversion efficiency value, including its reflectance efficiency:

  • thermodynamic efficiency
  • charge carrier separation efficiency
  • and conduction efficiency values

Inline use

Eternal Sun already developed high tech solar-simulators but they want to improve the test simulators. Eternal Sun’s goal is to develop a prototype solar simulator for in-line use.

The Sun team is partner in a research project which is developing an automated test-measurement system for Solar modules. The project team which will soon publish their results, intends to lower the integral costs of PV-modules, by developing a worldwide unique AAA-class In-Line steady state solar simulator (ILSS) prototype for the PV-industry that is validated on criteria for test speed (5 modules/minute), test accuracy, heat development, maintenance and lamp replacement costs.

Solar simulator system

In order to develop the ILSS prototype, Eternal Sun will develop the solar simulator system for “sunny side down” operation, to fit the inline requirements of PV-module manufacturers.

The transport system for automated transport of solar panels will be developed by IPA-PS, to match the 5 modules/ minute requirement.

The Delft University of Technology will work on validating the automated measurement system, developed by IPA-PS, with respect to accuracy, quality and repeatability.

Feedback loops

After first design and development of the prototypes, the systems will be integrated at Eternal Sun’s facilities, and extensive testing with regards to the requirements will take place. Several feedback loops and optimizations in the separate systems are to be expected, before a validation can be carried out to provide reliable data on test accuracy, heat development, maintenance, lamp replacement costs and testing speeds.

Test results 

A validated prototype will fulfil the technological and non-technological requirements as stipulated in the work plans, which in turn will lead to a test-cost reduction of 80%. This cost reduction will directly influence the LCOE of solar in a positive way and will contribute to the development of solar globally.

Partners

Eternal Sun and the TU Delft

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