Solar simulator for high-power photovoltaic modules


From pv magazine Spain

The most recent International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) report from German engineering association Verbandes Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA) predicts the disappearance of modules based on 156.75 mm and 158.75 mm cells in the next six years, and a drastic drop in the global market share for products relying on 166 mm cells. According to VDMA, these products will be replaced by panels with cells measuring 182 mm and 210 mm, which will represent, from 2023, a market share close to 50%.

The sudden success of these larger panels in the large-scale solar business has created a series of challenges for which most developers were not prepared. Currently, a high percentage of solar simulators are small in size and are not capable of measuring the maximum power of larger high-power modules over the entire surface with the required quality and stability. However, the accuracy of the measurements is extremely important to ensure that the end-user receives modules with the contracted power.

With this in mind, Spire Solar Iberia, a unit of Dutch PV module testing company EternalSun, has launched a state-of-the-art XL A+A+A+ solar simulator, which the company says can measure the maximum power of photovoltaic modules of any size with high precision and identify those with low performance.

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EternalSun has a global customer base that includes Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It launched in early 2020 the first XL solar simulator capable of measuring modules with dimensions up to 2.60 m x 1.40 m.


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