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Photovoltaic and solar electricity (SOLAREC)


Specific Objectives

Specific Objectives in 2002:

General Strategy:

- 1. Strengthen position within Europe as Reference for Photovoltaic Technology;
- 2. Develop technology ties to Electricity efficiency;
- 3. Put the Unit's concepts of green certification in the heart of DG TREN's agenda of monitoring the implementation of Renewables;
- 4. Accreditation of the European Solar Test Installation to ISO 17025;
- 5. Elaboration of technical details for the ETO Integrated Project for FP6

Objectives relating to International Standards/ Organisations:

- Input to IEC TC82: three sessions WG2; two sessions WG3;
- Establish contacts with CIE (ISO-recognised body for standardisation in lighting);
- Accreditation at IECQ level;
- Membership of EUROMET.

Objectives for Scientific Production

- Contact and Interface Investigation on Photovoltaic Devices;
- Development of applications for IR thermal probing of wafers, cells and PV modules;
- Consolidation of a Reference Measurements and Calibration Competence Centre, in particular initiating a Round-Robin calibration;
- Finalisation of the Energy Rating Procedure for Photovoltaic Solar Modules;
- The development of operating procedures for PV concentrator measurements will be finalised;
- Accreditation of the Nominal Operating Cell Temperature test within the QA System;
- Accreditation of the On Site Acceptance Tests;
- Develop an internet-based tradable green certification system for the monitoring of the RES-E
- Implement Recommendations of Prioritisation Audit, in particular by developing links to DG DEV.

Networking Objectives

- Start-up of the S/T Reference System on Renewables and Energy Efficiency;
- The Ultra-High Efficiency Solar Cells Network (1st Workshop in December);
- Roadmaps for Future R&D in Photovoltaic (Starts 2002);
- GreenLight networking with the CC
- Start-Up Phase of the S/T Reference System on Renewable Energies and Efficient Use of Energy.
Planned Deliverables

Deliverables 2002:

General Deliverables

- Edit Proceedings of the 17th European PV Solar Energy Conference in Munich;
- Organise the programme for the 18th European PV Solar Energy Conference in Osaka, Japan.

Specific deliverables to DGs:

- Establish additional web pages for EC energy-efficiency initiatives; enhance GreenLight Web-site;
- Call Expert-Workshop on "Electronic Green Certification";
- On site Acceptance Tests for EU funded demonstration projects;
- European Technical Advisory group on International Standards;
- Organisation of the annual European Green Light workshop;
- S&T support to the definition, implementation and monitoring of DG TREN initiatives: Appliance standards; Green Light, Motor Challenge; Energy Star;
-Standby Initiative.

As a result of the research:

- Procedures for the calibration of tandem and multi-junction solar cells;
- Development of new process characterisation techniques for cost reduction and throughput increase in PV production by application of laser and thermal techniques;
- Procedure and draft standard for the Energy Rating of Photovoltaic Solar Modules;
- Publication of results in international journals and conferences.

Summary of 2001 Deliverables: 31/12/2001

Device Physics and Reference Measurements

Renewable Energies Unit Ph.D. Student awarded JRC Young Scientist Prize

The Solarec Project team was extremely satisfied to see one of its former students, Guido Agostinelli, awarded the above prize for the excellent work he carried out in the Unit on understanding the limiting factors of CdTe Solar Cells.

The spectral response of tandem solar cell were measured for the first time at JRC at the upgraded device spectral response system. With a coloured bias light system the spectral responses of top and bottom cells (in the tandem) were measured separately. The measurements were compared with the I-V curves obtained in a solar simulator (WACOM). This allowed the determination of which of the two cells in the tandem is limiting its output current. During the investigation over 100 (single) measurements of the spectral response on eight different solar cells were performed (together with visiting scientist). The work also highlighted the difficulties in determining the mismatch factors on which work is continuing.

New measurement results on the voltage biased optical beam induced current measurement of CSS and CBD CdTe solar cells revealed sub surface localised shunts in the material leading a second junction model as we first proposed at the Materials Research Society Spring meeting this year. The confirmation of these effects on a second source material indicated the generality of the occurrence.

In May 2001 the first Calibration of 18 pyranometers according ISO - 9847 was performed on the new outdoor calibration site.

Modules and Systems

Continuous request from industry, research groups and universities for PV module qualification testing, calibration measurements and proto-type development were processed and executed during 2001. This was the busiest year in the history of these services here at the JRC with over 50 request for measurement and reference data received a total of 35 contracts were concluded.

Applications and Exploration of Technology Opportunities

Following almost one year of non-operation the display on the ELSA PV Façade was restarted. A new activity was started to fulfil a MoU with European Car Manufacturers and Oil Producers (Concawe) on the Life Cycle Analyse for alternative Fuels, specialising a Biofuels in anticipation a possible future EU directive.

Horizontal Activities

The European Solar Test Installation successfully passed an external audit of its EN45001 quality system this year extending the accreditation for a further 5-year period. The Unit participated in two Technical Committee Meetings of the International Electro technical Commission. It delivered its "New Work Item Proposals" on Energy Rating, Trace ability of Reference Cells and the Detailed Specification required for the IEC Quality Scheme.

During 2001 the Solarec Project contributed to European Research Development and dissemination by chairinghnical programme for the 17th European Solar Energy Conference held in Munich DE. Over 1100 abstracts were submitted and some 953 presentations accepted, making this the largest Photovoltaic conference in the world.

Support to DG TREN

- Support in the follow-up of the Green Light Programme of DG TREN has continued with: technical co-ordination of all the Green Light demonstration projects in the 14 EU member states; maintenance of the Green Light web site for technical support of energy saving lighting projects; publication of the first-year assessment of the Green Light results; co-ordination of the Green Light stakeholders network; presentations at various workshop, trade fairs, conferences.
- Support in the development of the Motor Challenge Programme and the management of the EURODEEM database;
- Support for the 2001 Luminaire Competition.

Output Indicators and Impact

The level of publications in peer reviewed conferences and journals will be monitored. Together with the participation in international networks, expert meetings and invited presentations. A clear indication of the European level of the collaboration and integration is the number of publications made with other international organisations in the field. In 2001 joint publications were made with more than 35 different organisations.
Summary of the project

SOLAREC supports the action plan for implementing Photovoltaic solar energy, as described in the Commission's White Paper for a Community Strategy and Action Plan, "Energy for the future: Renewable Sources of Energy".
This project is targeted to single market harmonisation through quality and performance standards and will provide technology reference for quality assurance in research, manufacturing, implementation and services concerning Photovoltaic Solar Energy.

Specific objectives are:
i) to resolve problems of materials' supply for Photovoltaic Solar Energy by investigating thin-film technology, multi-junction materials with potential to replace the limited silicon stock;
ii) to carry out research on new encapsulation techniques to significantly reduce costs and to prevent PV-devices failure by high voltage, light absorption and high temperature/high humidity exposure;
iii) to develop quality codes for the integration of Solar Electricity Systems in centralised and decentralised supply (e.g., developing quality codes for integration of PV products in new buildings, "green pricing"). The project will maintain the European Solar Testing Installation (ESTI) for type approval and certification and for pre-normative research; it will endeavour in addition to establish the "World Photovoltaic Scale", to increase precision measurements in order to meet market requirements, to harmonise power and energy rating of devices. It also includes activities in the field of end-use energy efficiency in buildings, for maximisation of PV benefits.
See also the related EU enlargement process pre-accession (pa) project.


Research on new and renewable sources of energy and their integration, in particular into decentralised systems, and on technologies for the storage and distribution of electricity and new materials, constitute a major priority.
The Commission communicated in its White Paper for a Community Strategy and Action Plan "Energy for the Future: Renewable Sources of Energy" an action plan which calls for a 100-fold increase in Photovoltaic systems by the year 2010 (equivalent to a 30% increase per year). This goal can be achieved through the proposed action for 1,000,000 PV systems. However, to meet such an ambitious goal, problems related to materials supply, new technologies and cost reduction have to be resolved. Also, solar thermal electricity generation, in particular in combination with natural gas, is foreseen as a technology option targeted at solving sustainable energy supply in the Mediterranean. The particular role the JRC shall play in the monitoring of progress of renewable energies is specifically mentioned in the above-cited White Paper.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Environment and Sustainability