Characterizing CPV System Components

We have longstanding experience in characterizing concentrator modules and systems. As part of the IEC TC 82 WG7, we have also worked for many years on developing international standards for concentrator photovoltaics.

© Fraunhofer ISE
Test bench to investigate CPV modules on a precise two axis tracking system on the roof of Fraunhofer ISE in Freiburg.

To date, concentrator modules have always been measured under field conditions. We therefore operate a tracker with a unit for collecting measurement data, which allows us to record all relevant data on irradiance and weather as well as the I-V curves of the concentrator modules being tested. All this data is used to analyze the modules. We also perform power rating of CPV modules according to IEC 62670-3.

In addition, since 2008, we have operated an indoor lab test bench for measuring concentrator modules. This test bench generates sun-like, parallel light using a parabolic reflector, and we are currently using it to develop calibration routines for concentrator modules.

A further aspect of our work is in developing models for forecasting the yield of concentrator modules and systems. To do so we draw on our longstanding experience in lab and field measurements, cell modeling and optics from the flat-plate PV module technology: