37th EU PVSEC, 07 - 11 September 2020

21 August 2018

35th EU PVSEC 2018 - The conference plenaries preview by Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink / part 2

The conference plenaries are pre-viewed around the three strands of photovoltaics:

Strand 1: Science & Technology of PV Conversion
Strand 2: PV Electricity Systems
Strand 3: PV as Energy Source

Exposed in more detail now:

Strand 2: PV Electricity Systems

PLENARY SESSION 5DP.1 08:30 - 10:00 Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
PLENARY SESSION 6DP.2 10:30 - 12:00 PV Systems Performance, Applications and Integration

The plenaries in this strand provide span from the technology of the components over assembly into application specific systems to the actual experience of electricity delivered by PV. They will give deep insight into the art of engineering of complex, but yet reliable and performant PV components and whole installations.

The first session on PV modules and components will feature a keynote presentation 5DP.1.1 Standards for PV - Overview of IEC Related PV Standards and How They Contribute to Reduced Costs of Energy. Since standardisation of PV measurement and testing started more than 35 years ago, many standards documents have been published internationally (IEC) or regionally (ASTM, CENELEC, ...). The plenary will look more into detail what these standards have been achieving on a global scale, regarding confidence into PV products their global use no matter where they have been produced and the tremendous cost reduction which has been influenced by early and widespread adaptation of the standards to the design and production of PV modules, inverters, batteries and other components.

More recent cell technology with innovative back-contacts allows now to produce cells which, when illuminated from the rear side, can generate additional power. The plenary talk 5DP.1.2 Overview of Bifacial Module Technologies, Applications and Costs, shines light on the very application specific issues which are studied for taking advantage of this double-sided effect. Bifacial modules need to receive some light from the rear, and the plenary will describe certainly the findings of the many model calculations and laboratory/field measurements.

The next plenary gives insight into strategies to increase self-consumption, which, with ever decreasing feed-in tariffs is a way to make grid-connected PV systems more cost-effective. In 5DP.1.3 Storage for Increasing Self Consumption, details will be given, to which extend storage increases the self-consumption (as opposed to just feeding the grid). The title suggest that the speaker will also highlight non-battery storage, such as storage in heat/or cold, so the talk is good for surprises!

PV is considered by all as an energy technology with superior environmental performance. But is this true also at the end of the technical life? The plenary talk 5DP.1.4 Environmental Aspects of Crystalline Silicon PV Module Recycling Technologies will show you the approach taken in Japan. The presenters will give results on their study focussing on the recycling aspects, mainly for glass, and metals embedded in the solar cells. Some of these processes seem to need attention to avoid that they are again harmful for the environment, and the presentation will explain the details of controlling the recycling process.

The second plenary session on PV Systems Performance, Applications and Integration will bring some highlights from application, but also approaches to system integration. PV increases it’s share in the electricity system in many countries to the level where there are more and more days that an entire region is powered only by PV. The session starts with an invited keynote presentation, 6DP.2.1 Visions from the Future: The Interaction between Curtailment, Spinning Reserve Settings and Generator Limits on Australian Projects with Medium to High Renewable Energy Fractions. The very technical title should make the audience curious about the Australian experience with high grid penetration of PV. Most probably this presentation will also give results of how curtailment can influence the overall economy of PV systems and in particular how to optimise the overall system to keep curtailment as low as possible.

The many issues regarding the integration of PV into the built environment but also new solutions will be discussed in plenary 6DP.2.2 Demonstrating Novel Building Integrated Photovoltaic Technologies with the PVSITES Project. This project again is a larger European consortium benefiting from the European funding. The 15 partners from Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Portugal and Belgium. They will present new, market tailored technology solutions developed within this project. These solutions does not only include novel glass-glass modules or thin-films on flexible substrates but extends to inverters and intelligent building energy management system. It will certainly emphasise the role of buildings as an entire energy supply and demand system, rather than just a convenient support structure for PV modules!

As module prices decrease to levels below 100 €/m2, cost and availability of land for large, utility scale PV systems begins to be a challenge. The plenary presentation 6DP.2.3 An Overview of Floating PV Worldwide, will show how deploying PV arrays on water surfaces can be a good solution. The authors are from The Netherlands, a countrywith high population density which is always very innovative in land-use and land-gains. According to the authors, a multi-billion market can be expected soon. The plenary will also bring an analisys of energy output, packing densities and installation speed and more.

The IEA is a number of very successful Tasks within its PV Power Systems programme. In this session the programme is presenting 6DP.2.4 Infrared and Electroluminescence Imaging for PV Field Applications: An Overview of the Latest Report by IEA PVPS Task 13, which will give a complete view on in-field module inspection and fault detection technologies. 10 partners from 7 IEA member-states contributed to the report. The talk will explain the interpretation of measurements and address examples the failure modes discover in the field. Very worthwhile to listen to, not at last because of the economical losses avoided if faults are not detected in time.




Heinz was until his retirement 2016 Head of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Unit of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. He began in 1982 to build up the European Solar Test Installation (ESTI) to assist the development of PV technology with measurements and tests. With his team, he gave much scientific support to the formulation of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency policies of the European Commission. He served the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition as Technical Programme Coordinator from 1994 until 2010, and was twice also its General Chair. During his whole carrier he was devoted to the standardisation of PV technology at the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which he served also as chairman from 2004 until 2016.