Grid-connected OPV system
Grid-connected OPV system, Mainova AG in Frankfurt, Germany

PROJECT DETAILS

  • OPV cell development
  • Electrical design
  • OPV sail structure

DESCRIPTION

Commissioned in 2012, this system, based on flexible, organic photovoltaic elements, shows a stable energy yield, verifying the suitability of the BELECTRIC OPV printed OPV technology for grid-connected operation.

In 2012, the world's first grid-connected OPV (organic photovoltaic) system was commissioned at Mainova AG in Frankfurt. Since 2012, nine flexible and transparent OPV modules in the form of a sun sail, with a total capacity of 0.2 kW, have graced a building on the energy provider's premises. The defined objective of the installation at that time was to provide answers with regard to various aspects: to tap into the potential benefits of OPV in the area of static and mechanical integration, to examine the characteristics of OPV in power supply operation and, finally, to verify stability during continuous operation.

During the planning and installation phase, answers relating to some of the areas in question were already found: it became evident that, due to the low weight of the OPV modules in conjunction with mounting in a higher position, a significant reduction in costs for the static strengthening of the logo tower could be achieved. In addition, the installation of the modules proved to be simple and straightforward, which, last but not least, was confirmed by the BELECTRIC OPV follow-up projects. After four years of operation, the electrical data of the system was also subjected to detailed inspection: This system, with a nominal output amounting to 0.2 kW (before system losses), is mounted vertically and aligned to the south. In order to evaluate the recorded yield data, a commercial PV simulation software (PVSYST) was used to image the system and the characteristics of the OPV modules (good low light response, large angular range, positive temperature coefficient, etc.). With the help of historical weather data, the expected yields over the current system running time were simulated and compared with the actual measured yield data (AC side). This shows that, since commissioning, the system has achieved an additional yield of 7% compared to the simulation, whereby, in the simulation; an annual degradation of 0% / year was adopted. Accordingly, after four years of operation, the OPV system has achieved an even higher yield than was to be expected given the installed nominal output.

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