Quality assurance for PV modules and power plants

For PV power plants of all sizes, we offer an individual, continuous quality assurance. The picture shows a 10 MWp solar power station in Masdar, Abu Dhabi tested by Fraunhofer ISE.

Quality control of solar modules

With a thermographic camera, potential problems can be discovered and remedied by our experts.

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Thermography of a PV power plant

Thermography imaging to detect modules with hot-spot effects.

Quality assurance for PV modules and power plants

For PV power plants of all sizes, we offer an individual, continuous quality assurance. The picture shows a 150 MW PV power plant in the Atacama Desert, Chile, that was tested comprehensively by Fraunhofer ISE and certified by VDE.

Avoid planning mistakes

Modeling of a two-axis tracked PV system in »RADIANCE«. The shadow of the PV plant would result in row shading.

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Photovoltaic Power Plants

Since 1990, Fraunhofer ISE has made important contributions to the quality control of photovoltaic power plants. We offer ongoing services in quality assurance from the planning phase through to power plant operation.

In projects carried out in cooperation with renowned international partners, we permanently are putting our many years of experience to test. Our leading scientific expertise and state-of-the-art equipment are a fundamental part of our service.

Our yield assessments lay the basis for determining the economic feasibility of future power plants and provide information about the expected yield at each site. For our simulations we rely on our expertise in the field and make use of the data from component characterizations carried out in our laboratories. An on-site analyses with visual inspections, thermographic images and actual yield measurements provide information about the system quality and assists in identifying faults.

After operation, we determine the actual Performance Ration of the power plant. We compare the results with the values of the yield assessment and are thus able to recognize potential deviations from optimal operation at an early stage.

Precise laboratory measurments form the basis for module benchmarking in the planning phase, for random sampling analyses during commissioning and for examinations during the operation. In our accredited calibration laboratory, we not only carry out measurements with a world-leading measurement precision of 1.3 %, but we are also able to process large numbers of modules in a short amount of time.

  • Current-voltage measurement device
  • High resolution IR camera (also available with drone)
  • DaySy – Daylight System Luminescence
  • Reference cells

Selected Research Projects



Development of characterization methodology for modules and systems applying bifacial PV technology



Agrophotovoltaic - A Contribution to Resource-Efficient Land Use


Development of an Industrial Recycling Process for PV Modules

Video, Brochure and Flyer: Photovoltaic Power Plants


Video: Quality Assurance for PV Power Plants

Flyer: Integrated Technical and Financial Services for PV Power Plants

Flyer: Quality Assurance for PV Power Plants in the First Development Stages

Current publications - Photovoltaic Power Plants


YearTitle/AuthorDocument Type
2016Yield predictions for photovoltaic power plants: Empirical validation, recent advances and remaining uncertainties
Müller, B.; Hardt, L.; Armbruster, A.; Kiefer, K.; Reise, C.
Journal Article
2015Investment risks of utility-scale PV: Opportunities and limitations of risk mitigation strategies to reduce uncertainties of energy yield predictions
Müller, B.; Heydenreich, W.; Reich, N.; Reise, C.; Farnung, B.
Conference Paper
2015On the uncertainty of energetic impact on the yield of different PV technologies due to varying spectral irradiance
Dirnberger, D.; Müller, B.; Reise, C.
Journal Article
2015On-site performance verification to reduce yield prediction uncertainities
Reich, N.; Zenke, J.; Müller, B.; Kiefer, K.; Farnung, B.
Conference Paper
2015Projections of long-term changes in solar radiation based on CMIP5 climate models and their influence on energy yields of photovoltaic systems
Wild, M.; Folini, D.; Henschel, F.; Müller, B.
Journal Article
2015Realistic yield expectations for bifacial PV systems - an assessment of announced, predicted and observed benefits
Reise, C.; Schmid, A.
Conference Paper
2015Solarenergie zur Stromerzeugung
Kiefer, K.
Book Article
2015Technical analysis and optimization of a high concentrating photovoltaic power tower
Ordóñez Moreno, K.; Heimsath, A.; Wiesenfahrt, M.; Schöttl, P.; Nitz, P.
Conference Paper
This publication list has been generated from the publication database Fraunhofer-Publica.