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1 October 2013

Fraunhofer ISE initiates round-robin test with four leading measurement laboratories

In a round-robin test, Germany‘s Fraunhofer ISE CalLab PV Modules compared its results with three other leading international measurement labs for photovoltaic (PV) modules: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the USA, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan, and the European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. The results showed that the measurement precision in all four laboratories was comparable, with a deviation of ±1% from the mean. Fraunhofer ISE says that, for investors in the growing global PV market, this has good implications for quality assurance.


Round-robin tests of the four international PV module calibration laboratories had measurements with deviations of ±1% from the mean, well within the measurement precision of 1.8% at Callab PV Modules. ©Fraunhofer ISE

Currently, the annual volume of the global PV market is over 30 gigawatts and the trend is growing. Against this backdrop and in light of the fact that photovoltaics is still a young technology, the measures employed to increase product quality on the international level have great importance, says Fraunhofer ISE.

The round-robin test, initiated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg in cooperation with its long-standing international partners, tests the different measurement procedures and methods with a focus on comparability. “In spite of the different techniques and equipment, all four laboratories demonstrate measurements with a high precision with a deviation of ±1% from the mean,” says Daniela Dirnberger, team leader at Fraunhofer ISE and initiator of the project. “We are well on our way towards being able to provide comparable measurements worldwide.”

The researchers at Fraunhofer ISE calibrate reference modules for production lines and carry out spot checks to verify the guaranteed power output in accordance with international standards. The module measurements include current-voltage curves as well as other electrical characteristics measured under standard test conditions (1000W/m2, 25°C and AM1.5). In addition to accurate power measurements, the researchers at Fraunhofer ISE also offer services in the development of measurement standards for new technologies as well as in the production-line qualification of solar simulators.

Tags: Fraunhofer ISE

Visit: www.callab.de

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