Fast Energy Rating for Photovoltaic Devices and Modules (FENRA)

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Electronic, Electrical & Systems Enginee


A major problem for photovoltaics is the lack of a fast and accurate energy rating for new devices and modules. Currently, methods for predicting the energy yield for a given device are either too simplistic, especially with regard to emerging technologies, or long-measurement campaigns are required. This problem will be solved by developing an energy rating based on direct laboratory measurements and thus not be based on simplifications, reducing the time needed for realistic measurement campaigns from months to hours. At the heart of this method is a novel measurement apparatus, which will allow among other things the generation of variable irradiance spectra, closely matched to those experienced in real outdoor operation. A novel methodology will be developed to evaluate technologies currently at the development stage and an extensive validation of the approach will be carried out. Theoretical work will be undertaken to underpin the development of this new approach to energy rating of solar modules.


10 25 50
Description The energy rating of photovoltaics is an issue inhibiting new technologies entering the market place. These devices are
often sensitive to spectral changes and that could to date not be measured. The project thus developed a novel
measurement device which can measure devices with variable spectrum, which is based on LEDs. This was the world's first qualified LED based solar simulator, promoting a large number of devices entering the market place today.

Simultaneously an analysis of the resource available for a PV system was established, which includes sensor uncertainties as well as spectral changes.
Exploitation Route - industrial follow on project on Energy Rating Simulator development

- industrial follow on project on energy determination of solar modules - further research into energy yield of PV

- future measurement applications

- reduced measurement uncertainty in PV characterisation

- move of the market from power to energy

- international measurement and prediction standards
Sectors Energy

Description The project provided a new measurement system (LED based solar simulator) as well as a method to integrate irradiance looking at spectral effects. The LED based solar simulator was followed up in an industrially funded research project, helping them to develop such a kit. The method for 3-dimensional analysis of operating environments is an input to the development of the international energy rating standards and is used in defining operating environments.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Electronics,Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Cultural



Description New & Renewable Energy Centre Ltd 
Organisation New & Renewable Energy Centre Ltd
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
Description Schott Solar GmbH 
Organisation SCHOTT Solar Concentrated Solar Power
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007