A Dutch consortium, consisting of Eternal Sun, Hielkema Testequipment, Rera Solutions and Solliance partners ECN and TNO will develop a climate chamber with AAA-class accuracy simulated sunlight to simultaneously test performance and degradation of all types of solar cells and mini-modules. This unique combination is able to gather information which is at the moment unattainable. The equipment is expected to become commercially available in the first half of 2015.
The new hybrid test setup will be based on an existing model, which is already in use by TNO for 3 years. The combination of climate chamber and solar simulator is used for research on the performance and degradation of CIGS cells at the new Solliance facility at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The new hybrid test setup is a combination of a modified climate chamber, a multi cell IV-measurement system and a large area solar simulator. This simulator uses an array of lamps to produce AAA-class (<2% accurate) sunlight which is used to provide nearly flawless performance and degradation measurements of all types of solar cells and mini-modules.
The ultimate objective of the joint project is to gain new insights in the behaviour of all types of solar cells and mini-modules. Because the new hybrid test setup is able to simultaneously measure performance and degradation the combination is able to gather data which was previously unattainable. This new data enables new research, focused on the performance of cells and mini-modules during the degradation process. The hybrid test setup enables Solliance to perform most existing IEC-tests as well as new developed test procedures, with the use of one single test setup, and enables them to gain new insights into the behaviour of all types of PV cells and mini-modules.
Stefan Roest, CTO and co-founder of Eternal Sun commented: ‘We are excited to start the cooperation with Solliance and to be able to develop such a unique piece of equipment. To be able to work closely together with experienced partners is always a pleasure and I am confident that this new test system will be interesting for all solar research facilities around the globe.’
Mirjam Theelen, researcher at Solliance commented: ‘The existing test setup has been very successfully used to learn more about the degradation behavior of new types of solar cells. There was a lot of interest from other research institutes for this setup, and we are very content with the fact that Dutch companies will bring it to the market in cooperation with us.
About Eternal Sun:
Eternal Sun is a high-tech company based in Delft, the Netherlands. Founded as a spin-off from a research project of Delft University of Technology, we specialize in solar simulation technology for the purpose of product and material testing. Their solar simulation solutions are innovative and practical in use, and therefore chosen by many worldwide customers.