Country: The Netherlands


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Description: ECN is the main institute for energy research in The Netherlands. ECN develops high-quality knowledge and technology for the transition to a sustainable energy supply, and introduces this technology to the market. ECN’s focus is on energy conservation, renewable energy and an efficient and clean use of fossil fuels.evelops high-quality knowledge and technology ECN Solar Energy, with its staff of 85 experts, offers a wide range of R&D activities on PV materials and -processing technologies, cell- and module design. These are available for transfer and implementation on laboratory-, pilot- and production scale. Our extensive facilities for solar cell processing and characterisation are well suited to study almost all R&D issues currently relevant for the PV industry.


Characterisation lab, including high throughput analysis
Description: The R&D infrastructure is part of the solar characterisation laboratory at ECN Solar. It includes all important electro-optical characterization and mapping/imaging tools for wafers and solar cells, including some innovative methods such as MCFA, CORESCAN and SHERESCAN. Advantage is taken from our next-door laboratory for the processing of silicon wafers into solar cells. Hence, a deep understanding is present on fundamentals of characterizing silicon material (n- and p-type), multi- and mono-wafers, all intermediate products and finished solar cells & modules. One of the main aims is to relate silicon material characteristics with solar cell & module performance via optimization of silicon material and process conditions. It is anticipated that high-throughput, in-line characterisation will become more and more important for the silicon PV industry. This should lead to costs reduction, better standardization and improvement of product reliability and quality.

Modeling software for Si

Description: Benchmarking numerical device simulations of crystalline silicon solar cells
Outdoor PV module test facility
Description: The IV-tracer set-up is a DC-power metering system that allows module designers to keep track of their own module’s IV characteristics over elongated periods of time in Petten’s marine environment, i.e., temperature mild with high salinity and moisture rate. The IV-tracer set-up is independent of the PV technology which allows direct and real-time comparison of modules based on any type of solar cell technology. Modules will be individually monitored.
Static Equipment
DC-power metering system for IV characteristics

Test site for outdoor module testing
Performance and Degradation Modeling of solar modules
Description: ECN has developed a software platform based on multiphysics simulation with Abaqus Finite Element Analysis tools. Scientific and experimental know-how can be captured in software involving optics, semiconductor physics, electrotechnical design, material science, mechanical engineering and mathematics. The software tool focuses on advanced multi-scale modeling methods addressing both the performance modelling of solar modules as well as module degradation effects.

last updated:02.09.2016

Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN)