Task 13 – Climatic Rating of Photovoltaic Modules: Different Technologies for Various Operating Conditions (2020)

Main Authors:
Johanna Bonilla Castro, TÜV Rheinland, Cologne, Germany
Markus Schweiger, TÜV Rheinland, Cologne, Germany
David Moser, EURAC Research, Italy
Tadanori Tanahashi, AIST, Japan
Bruce H. King, Sandia National Laboratories, USA
Gabi Friesen, SUPSI, Switzerland
Liu Haitao, Institute of Electrical Engineering, CAS, China
Roger H. French, CWRU, USA
Laura S. Bruckman, CWRU, USA
Björn Müller, Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg, Germany
Christian Reise, Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg, Germany
Gabriele Eder, OFI, Austria
Wilfried van Sark, University of Utrecht, Netherlands
Yaowanee Sangpongsanon, CSSC, Thailand
Felipe Valencia, ATAMOSTEC, Chile
Joshua S. Stein, Sandia National Laboratories, USA


The photovoltaic (PV) energy rating is related to the energy yield performance of a PV module. Unlike the power rating, which is only related to the performance at a single operating point at 25°C, 1000 W/m2 , and AM1.5 spectrum (Standard Test Conditions, STC), the energy rating considers several characteristics of the PV module that affect the amount of energy produced: a) low irradiation behaviour b) temperature behaviour c) spectral response and d) angular response. These characteristics are also a function of climate and location conditions, vary over time, and differ widely from the STC. For the PV industry and its market players, accurate information on how much energy PV modules and systems can generate is crucial, and even more relevant than the power rating. In recent times the photovoltaic industry is moving from thinking about power (watt-peak) to thinking about energy (kWh), giving greater importance to the energy rating. Chapter 1 of this report examines the importance of energy classification in more detail and provides an overview of the state of the art in this area.

The energy rating aims to allow differentiation between PV modules according to their performance for typical locations. To this end, one of the most important international standardization bodies of the photovoltaic industry: The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), has designed the IEC 61853 series of standards Photovoltaic (PV) module performance testing and energy rating (Parts 1 to 4). The series provides guidelines and standardized procedures for the indoor and outdoor characterization of PV modules and the calculation of the climatespecific energy rating (CSER). The CSER is equivalent to the annual performance ratio of the PV module for a specific climate…