European Energy, a leading player in the Danish solar cell industry, has built a solar test centre in cooperation with Denmark’s Technical University (DTU) to harvest solar energy even better in the future.
The new test centre will give European Energy and DTU insights on the potential of the next generation of technical equipment harvesting energy from the sun. European Energy has financed the construction of the test centre at DTU’s Risø Campus and is also funding several research projects at the new test centre.
”European Energy views this as a prime example of how industry and universities can work together to the mutual benefit of both sides. In this project, European Energy gets the opportunity to collect exact data that we can use in our utility scale solar projects all over the world, while the researchers get access to a solar park with the newest hardware in their own backyard”, said CEO Knud Erik Andersen, European Energy, in a press release.
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Testing tracker systems
According to European Energy, the test centre with a 0.5 MW solar cell capacity is the only one of its kind in Europe. In the coming years, tests of the newest solar cell technologies combined with various tracker structures and energy storage technologies will be conducted at the centre. One of the technologies being tested is bi-facial solar panels that absorb energy on both sides of the panel.
Due to a price decrease on tracker systems – as we have seen on solar cells – it is now realistic to use trackers on solar panels in Denmark, too, Senior Engineer Jan Vedde from European Energy explained:
‘’Trackers allow for a more flat production profile for solar power throughout the day. With this test facility, we can determine exactly how much the power production increases’’, he explained.
We need more solar cell experts
The construction of the test facility, in which European Energy invested approx. EUR 500.000, is now finished. Currently, the final adjustments are made before the research projects are initiated.
The President of DTU, Anders Overgaard Bjarklev, is also pleased with the European Energy cooperation.
”We look forward to working with European Energy, as it is more important than ever, that researchers and businesses come together to solve the world’s energy challenges. At DTU we sense the growing demand for research and competences within solar energy. That is one of the reasons why we recently launched Denmark’s first study programme in solar energy. Having the test centre at DTU Risø Campus will provide even better opportunities to do research in the field of solar and to educate engineers who will acquire the most up-to-date knowledge and therefore be able to meet the needs of the industry”.
The Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt will officially inaugurate the facility on 12 October, 2018.