The Network Blog

February 23, 2014

Power Quality Research at EU PVSEC

EU PVSEC in Paris was my very first conference related to solar energy. Since my field of study relates more to the system side of photovoltaics, I was happy to see that this conference had its fair share of talks on system research. From energy yield analysis and prediction methods to the effect of PV on the grid, even after selecting the most interesting subject to shorten the list, it was impossible to attend all the presentations. I can’t even imagine what it was like for my colleagues who study solar cells when the conference had about three times as many talks on the solar cells than it had on systems. Although I have a lot of respect for my colleges  performing research in improving the efficiency of the solar cells, I believe that the future of the photovoltaics as a major energy producer will depend much more on the quality of the power it delivers to the grid than more
February 12, 2014

BIPV at the 28th EU PVSEC

I often find it easy to get lost in my little corner of the solar research world and focus exclusively on my own work. Readings get limited to those directly related to my research. Indeed, as someone who focuses primarily on cell-level technology, it’s easy for me to lose the bigger picture of how such a technology might be used. Hence, one of the advantages of going to a conference is the breadth of material covered, and its accessibility. This allows me to “take a quick peek” at some ideas that I wouldn’t normally consider “directly important to my research”. At the IEEE conference in Florida, I went to many talks regarding new cell concepts (see my blog post on “Photon Up- and Down-Conversion”). In Paris, at EU PVSEC 2013, I spent some time checking stuff on building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Different groups seem to have different opinions on what constitutes BIPV. Some people seemed to interpret BIPV to mean any more