Global database for PV system performance
An international consortium of solar energy researchers has created a new platform for analysing the performance and reliability of PV systems located in different climate zones. The research project, called PV Camper, is aimed at creating is a cloud database that combines highly accurate meteorological values and photovoltaic performance data from different geographic and climatic areas.
Through the database, all researchers will be able to access daily updated data from a total of 13 testing facilities on almost every continent. They will also be offered a common baseline characterisation and operating and management protocols as well as offers for joint research and development activities. The data may be used, for example, to improve the design and optimisation of photovoltaic systems in certain operating environments for industrial clients.
The PV Camper consortium includes research institutes from the USA, Brazil, South Korea, Great Britain, Morocco, Singapore, Qatar and, in Germany, the Fraunhofer Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP and the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences are participating.
“Linking and exchanging high-quality data is essential to advance photovoltaic research and to open up new markets and applications for solar technologies,” said Ralph Gottschalg, head of Fraunhofer CSP and chairman of PV Camper. “We are creating one of the world’s largest and most useful databases with quality-assured, comparable performance data from photovoltaics and [are enabling] them to be exchanged in a trusting manner.”
Gottschalg expects the project will reach a wide global dimension. “The collaboration will make it possible to transfer research results better to different climate zones and to optimise new types of technologies specifically for use there,” said the Fraunhofer researcher.