37th EU PVSEC, 07 - 11 September 2020

20 July 2020 - Sneak peek at the second plenary “INNOVATIONS FOR PV INDUSTRY AND DEPLOYMENT”

Welcome to our second plenary preview of the EU PVSEC 2020 online.

Today we will take a sneak peek at the second plenary “INNOVATIONS FOR PV INDUSTRY AND DEPLOYMENT” taking place on Wednesday morning, 9 September, from 10:30 to 12:30. This plenary is about everything which is ready to get out of the lab door because it is close to commercialisation and is just about to attract investors, corporate financing and even start-ups. This plenary addresses important issues of current Photovoltaic development to ready the products for the substantial PV-industry contribution to limit global warming.

The presentation “Requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement for the Coming 10 Years on Investments, Technical Roadmap, and Expansion of PV Manufacturing” is a good starting point for understanding what challenges in technologies are faced, but also what solutions one can envisage in global deployment scenarios allowing to fulfil the Paris agreement. This would require that PV industrial capacities would grow at least 20% per year until 2030, when the required 1TW of PV per year can be produced. The author, affiliated with a large PV manufacturer analyses in detail the technology innovations which can be expected, the investments required and possible material constraints. (CP.1.2, Wednesday 10:50)

In the following project report “FlamingoPV : Recent Advances towards High-Efficiency, Reliable Lightweight and Flexible Thin-Film Silicon Solar Cells and Modules” you will see a new approach for developing a product which due to its features is particularly suited for the building market. Interestingly enough, in this European funded project the developers have chosen to innovate on amorphous silicon/microcrystalline technology, as well as a roll-to-roll process for large scale production at low-cost. Very interesting considering that both technologies had practically no significant follow-up in the last 20 years. The authors will present the advantages of using Aluminium as a substrate and present results of devices on a lab-scale. (CP.1.3, Wednesday 11:10)

There are two further talks in this plenary dealing with the performance of PV Photovoltaic systems. One is the presentation ”Analyzing the Power Prediction by Deep Learning Algorithm Using EL-Images” which describes how the thousands of electroluminescence (EL) images gathered during inspection of large PV systems can be used to train a deep learning algorithm. What would be the advantage of applying artificial intelligence? Well, EL imaging on a module level is an established inspection technique, and the relation between module performance and electroluminescence can be established by comparing performance with the EL images. An algorithm achieved by deep machine learning would be perfect tool to predict and monitor the real-world performance of a PV system. (CP.1.4, Wednesday 11:30)

The other presentation, as a global view on PV performance, is presented in “Performance of New Photovoltaic System Designs - IEA PVPS Task 13 Subtask 1.3”. The “new” designs regard methods which include the application side, or in other words the electricity services in the performance evaluation of a PV system. Over 15 PV experts from six countries were developing characterization methods for new and innovative PV systems for which few or no methods have been established to characterize performance. We will be briefed on case studies that include economic impacts and a description of the specific characterization methods. This talk will also propose a new foldable PV generator, which can be stowed away should weather deteriorate. This innovation reduces substantially the cost of the mounting structures as they do not need to be designed for the worst-case environmental conditions. (CP.1.5, Wednesday 11:50)

The presentation, titled “Final Study of MoOx Thickness Variation Influence on Partial Dopant-Free Silicon” at first sight seems to be rather scientific and difficult to understand for experts from other PV technology segments. However, we believe the presenter is very skilled in explaining the advantages of dopant-free front-side and selective layers in a structure, in which the already well known amorphous—Si on crystalline Silicon Structure is modified by replacing the front amorphous layer by Molybdenum Oxides. The research group has already developed a dopant free back contact, so the whole device is a big step towards avoiding unpleasant materials like phosphorous and arsenic. (CP.1.1, Wednesday 10:30)

Finally, a visual highlight of the session is the presentation of a new tool for planning PV installations: An augmented reality system (commonly known as 3D goggles) simplifies considerably the tedious optimisation in finding the best placement of PV systems in the vicinity of shadowing elements, such as those found in the built environment. With this virtual reality tool you can place your system such that it would optimise PV generation. It will even produce a bill of materials and is foreseen to be key element of a fully digital sales process! The presentation fits well in the new online format of the conference, we are curious what we will experience in ”Augmented Reality Supporting the Planning Processes in PV Plants” (CP.1.6, Wednesday 12:10)

Did we arouse your curiosity? Check out our detailed conference programme for more information about every session.

If you want to learn about the third plenary session, keep an eye out for our next newsletter.

We hope you join us at the EU PVSEC 2020 and be part of a global PV community.

Overview about the plenary session by
Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink, Member of the Executive Committee.