Institute for Renewable Energy - Photovoltaic Test Field
Photovoltaic Test Field
In cooperation with the Airport of Bolzano Dolomiti (ABD), Eurac Research has set up a multi-technology photovoltaic test facility for the detailed performance evaluation of different module technologies and mounting systems.
The site includes twenty-four separate technologies and four mounting systems. Established in the summer of 2010, the facility has been closely monitored ever since.
The test site has an overall nominal power of 724 kWp. The field orientation is 8.5° West of South, and most of the modules have a 30° tilt angle. In addition there are three other mounting systems:
- A single axis active tracker with an inclination of 30° and an East-West rotation capability with a maximum angle of ±90°
- A dual-axis active tracker that can adjust elevation and rotation according to the most advantageous angle for light reception
- A white flat-roof substructure that mounts tubular CIGS modules
The installation is further equipped with high quality sensors, including a pyrheliometer (CHP1, Kipp & Zonen), three pyranometers (CMP11, Kipp & Zonen), an albedometer (CMA11, Kipp & Zonen), along with a sensor for ambient temperature (Thies Clima), and a two-axis ultrasonic anemometer (Gill Instruments). Furthermore, the facility has a CIMEL sun photometer, which is connected to the international AERONET network coordinated by NASA. PV reference cells (normal and KG5-filtered) are also used, positioned horizontally on the module plane and the two trackers.
The experimental test site allows for a detailed performance analysis of the different technologies. It delivers information on:
- the performance of a specific technology in comparison to other technologies.
- the performance of specific technologies under various meteorological conditions (hot summer days with high direct solar radiation, or the cloudy days of other seasons with a relevant diffuse radiation).
- performance losses through the effect of age.
Developed primarily for project developers, installers and financial institutions, the data is of high interest for all stakeholders who wish to evaluate the energetic behaviour of solar installations and determine the most suitable technology for their particular needs. Furthermore, the data is used by Eurac Research to enhance the simulation processes for its performance predictions of future sites.