The new test field includes laboratory and field measurements, which allow PV modules to be evaluated faster and more accurately by combining and comparing indoor laboratory measurement results with test field measurements. The new location complements the existing Fraunhofer ISE test sites in Gran Canaria and the Negev desert in Israel.
Rigorous tests of photovoltaic systems, solar thermal collectors and other solar technologies are usually carried out in indoor laboratory environments, in addition to long-term tests in real weather conditions lasting several years. The research at the site, which Fraunhofer ISE officially opened on Friday in Merdingen, Baden-Württemberg, combines the results of both test methods.
Fraunhofer ISE says that photovoltaic modules in particular can be evaluated faster and more accurately by combining and comparing the measurement results of the indoor laboratory with the measurement results of the test field.
“The new Outdoor Performance Test Field in Merdingen provides us with the necessary space to test several solar technologies outdoors with state-of-the-art measurement technology,” said Andreas Bett, Institute Director at Fraunhofer ISE. “The test results give us important information that can be used to improve the performance and reliability of the modules.”
The new location complements Fraunhofer ISE’s test fields in Gran Canaria and the Negev desert in Israel, where researchers test prototypes and innovative products in different climates under extreme temperature fluctuations or exposure to salt air.
Reliability and degradation prediction of PV modules
“We can now compare the results of PV modules exposed to the maritime, dry and temperate climate of Central Europe with the measurements of accredited indoor PV modules and solar thermal test laboratories,” said Christian Reise, project manager of the Merdingen test site.
By combining simulations based on solar irradiance data, solar modules can be evaluated much faster than previously using outdoor measurements for a year, Fraunhofer ISE stated.
In the joint MiMoRisk study funded by the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, Fraunhofer ISE develops methods to minimize module yield risks in future solar power plants and identifies technological and design-specific deterioration risks at an early stage.
The research project’s analyzes will help the PV industry, especially module manufacturers and project designers of large ground-mounted systems, and also provide insurance companies with valuable insights into risk assessment, said Simone Steinbach, member of the Green Tech Solutions team at insurance group Munich RE. .
Investigating PV noise barriers and agricultural electricity systems
Other ongoing projects at the test field include the PVwins project, which measures the electricity production and noise protection of different types of solar electric noise barriers erected on the site. This enables planned projects to be tested on a small scale before actual construction begins.
In addition, the VAckerPower project will soon start construction of various height-adjustable agricultural electrical systems, which will allow researchers to study the suitability of elevated agricultural electrical systems and non-elevated vertical agricultural electrical systems, as well as the suitability of various solar electrical systems. modules for arable farming.