Optimisation of the electricity yield of thin-film PV integrated into infrastructure requires maximisation of both the short-term electricity yield and long-term reliability. Based on existing experience with crystalline silicon PV, the following action must be taken:
- Definition of the optimal methods for producing and integrating PV modules in the building elements in order to minimise the effects of mechanical stress and (partial) module coverage (pollution, shading caused by infrastructure users, the influence of the upper layer structure).
- Definition of the optimal configuration of a PV building element for long-term performance with a special focus on the main risk factors: mechanical stress, water, and partial (and rapidly changing) shading.
- Performing yield calculations, based in part on the experimental data (thermal properties, local weather/radiation conditions, shade conditions) delivered by work package 4. This will make it possible to better predict and optimise the electricity output of the PV building blocks used in the infrastructure. This model can be used later to predict the yield output of new designs.
- Pre-installation testing: definition of the output power of the developed building blocks and module integrity prior to installation. A reliable method will be developed to characterise and test the building elements (maximum of 6 metres in length) prior to installation of the PV components.
- Analysis and definition of qualification standards and norms for (thin-film) PV integrated in the infrastructure, as required for large-scale introduction.
Objectives for work package 4
The aim is to develop PV integration methods, supported by experimental data, that do not adversely affect the primary functions of the road surfaces and street furniture in terms of safety, lifespan (> 5 to 15 years, depending on the type of road surface) and maintenance. The guiding principles are that integration and repair of the PV equipment coincide with normal road renewal and maintenance, and that electrical issues affecting PV functionality can be resolved without holding up traffic.