Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands to expand PV testing


The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is expanding solar PV testing after upgrading its facilities with a new laboratory and hotspot upgrade.

Dutch high-tech company Eternal Sun, which specializes in solar testing equipment, provided the new equipment and necessary upgrades for the ECN facility. The lab enables ECN to engage in solar-PV testing, allowing it to meet the latest testing standards in the solar industry. The added upgrade is especially designed for finding the weak spot, or hotspot, in the solar panel.

Stefan Roest, Eternal Sun co-founder and chief technology officer, said, “Designing the equipment for the hot-spot test according to the certification specifications was a challenge as this test is one of the most complex tests to perform. The successful completion of the project was realized because of the excellent cooperation with the employees of ECN.”

Jan Bultman, ECN’s Business Development manager, added that ECN was “now able to measure behavior of PV modules that we were not able to measure before.”

In addition to testing and measuring services, ECN supports solar industry companies in research and development as well as collaborating on investments.

ECN also plays a significant role in the Dutch energy sector as a knowledge institute working in partnership with businesses and universities. The government has organized research, energy innovation, technological development and collaboration between sector participants in seven public-private partnerships known as Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKIs). ECN is an active participant in five TKIs, including Solar Energy, Offshore Wind, Biobased Economy, Gas and Energy Savings in Process Technology.