Photovoltaic systems quality

The team, part of the Energy systems sector, works on ensuring the quality of photovoltaic systems, which are becoming an increasingly more significant element of modern energy systems.

The research and service activities conducted by the team focus on the quality of photovoltaic systems.

The experience in this sector, accumulated from the early 1980s, allows the team to support private industry by means of a vast range of services, analysing photovoltaic modules in relation to the aspects associated with their electrical features and their energy yield.

The team works on developing new test methodologies for establishing the lifespan and the reliability of photovoltaic modules. It also compares the data collected by means of laboratory tests with those obtained under real-life conditions. The potential deterioration of a module subjected to specific climatic conditions and in specific installations is also predicted and evaluated. The analyses conducted make it possible to understand the reliability and the lifespan of a PV system, in both energy and financial terms: this aspect is fundamental in any installation design, although the relationships between laboratory lifespan tests and actual lifespans recorded on-site are still in the analysis phase.   
The main work conducted by the team covers a range of specialist areas: indoor tests carried out utilising solar simulators; outdoor tests for measuring and controlling the energy yields of individual modules; simulations for estimating and calculating the energy yield of these modules.

The team also participates in the education sector, particularly in the introductory photovoltaics courses (Course of Advanced Studies) and courses designed in accordance to the requirements of professional operators (FMEA, ALT and UALT) and for developing countries.

Research work focuses on:

  • Module features: electrical, thermal, optical and mechanical
  • Performance in the field: assessment of outdoor yield
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis: definition and classification of problems encountered with modules  
  • New problem prediction tools: mechanisms and occurrence of problems
  • Development of test procedures

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