25 - 29 Sept. 2017, RAI Convention & Exhibition Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

08 September 2017

Discussing PV System Performance & Integration at EU PVSEC 2017 in Amsterdam

The ultimate metric for all improvements accomplished along the value chain of PV manufacturing is a solar system’s performance. But yield is one thing, another is integration of a solar system into the concert of power generators using the grid – a topic that is growing in importance with the quickly increasing share of solar around the world. As system performance and integration go together, these topics are combined in the programme of the 33rd EU PVSEC conference, which will be held from 25-29 September 2017 in Amsterdam.

Programme Topic 6 - PV System Performance and Integration covers several system configurations and grid integration aspects. The EU PVSEC scientific committee selected 246 scientific papers in this field, of which 176 are poster contributions, 66 oral presentations and 4 are part of plenary session.


Battery storage is a crucial part in distributed generation, enabling to better regulate the variability also of on-grid solar systems. With battery prices quickly decreasing and customers appreciating the possibility to control their own power bill, solar and storage together are quickly seeing rising demand. Emphasizing the significance of integrating battery storage into PV systems the right way, the first keynote presentation of the PV System Performance and Integration Plenary Session (to be held on 28 September 10:30 to 12:00) will discuss “Optimal Sizing of Batteries for PV Self-Consumption: Usage for Peak Shaving”.  The talk from Utrecht University in the Netherlands mainly addresses challenges that arise due to mismatch between PV electricity supply and household electricity demand using batteries. Instead of looking at the isolated household case, Utrecht University’s study is taking a look at a larger picture - combining the optimal sizing of batteries at the household level while factoring in peak shaving at the district level. The data was collected from 79 households in Amsterdam and used to simulate the influence of different battery sizes based on the power consumption of particular households from the grid. Utrecht University will not only discuss the optimal storage size, but also explain why the concept could be an attractive investment opportunity.

The better the forecasts for PV power production the easier it is to integrate very large shares into the electricity mix. In this context, University of Cyprus will talk about “PV Production Forecasting Model Based on Artificial Neural Networks”, a methodology proposed for forecasting the day-ahead DC power produced by different technologies of grid-connected PV systems. The model is based on an artificial neural network (ANN). The focus of this study is to improve the accuracy of the machine learning algorithms that will operate on numerical weather prediction forecasts (NWP) to calculate the day-ahead PV production forecasts. University of Cyprus will present encouraging first machine learning results for a monocrystalline silicon PV on-grid system

Preventive maintenance is a great concept to optimize the performance of PV plants. Analytical monitoring systems have been installed at several PV systems worldwide to timely detect possible malfunctions. However, their effectiveness is limited by several factors, such as high customization costs, the need of collecting a great number of physical variables and, more importantly, unreliable communication infrastructure, especially for remotely placed solar installations. As an alternative, I-EM from Italy will present the possibility of “Predictive Maintenance in Photovoltaic Plants with a Big Data Approach”. This is about statistical methods based on data mining, which is emerging as a promising approach for fault prediction and early detection in other industries. I-EM’s presentation will show feasibility study results and the current status of such data mining approaches for preventive maintenance of solar systems.  

While the solar community obviously likes their products very much - also with regards to appearance, architects are often not too impressed using PV as a building material so far. Typical retrofit solar rooftop systems are not considered very attractive, installations are usually optimized for generating high yields. But with the number of solar systems increasing quickly, so does their visibility in the urban environment. Dutch architectural design company UNStudio will present its views on “Aesthetics and Performance of PV“.

In addition to the presentations in the plenary session, the PV Systems Performance and Integration topic of the 33rd EU PVSEC includes 10 oral and 3 poster sessions.

Tuesday 26th September

  • Advanced Field Performance Estimation  (15:15 – 16:45)
  • Failure Modes and Degradation (17:00 – 18:30)

Wednesday 27th September

  • Bifacial and Shaded System Performance (08:30 – 10:00)
  • Design of PV Plants & Hybrid Systems and Their Applications (13:30 – 15:00)
  • Innovative O&M and Inspection Methods and Safety Aspects (15:15 – 16:45)
  • PV Energy System Integration within the Building (17:00 – 18:30)

Thursday 28th September

  • Photovoltaics and the Building Envelope: Main Issues and Challenges (13:30 – 15:00)
  • Modelling and Optimisation Issues for BIP (15:15 – 16:45)
  • Solar Resource and Forecasting (17:00 – 18:30)
  • Photovoltaics and Infrastructure (17:00 – 18:30)

Friday 29th September

  • PV Energy System Integration into the Grid (08:30 – 10:00)

Poster presentations:

Tuesday 26th September

  • Design and Operation of PV Systems (I) (08:30 – 10:00)
  • Design and Operation of PV Systems (II) (13:30 – 15:00)
  • Solar Resource and Forecasting / Building Infrastructure and Landscape Applications / Grid and Energy System Integration (15:15 – 16:45)