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Competence Center for Photovoltaics


Because photovoltaics (PV) is a key element of Germany’s future energy supply, PTB has applied for funds for the construction of a competence center for PV metrology within the scope of the German Federal Government’s 7th Energy Research Programme. Approval of 3.5 million euros has enabled PTB to establish a unique infrastructure of laboratory and field calibration procedures with the lowest measurement uncertainties in the world and thus to metrologically ensure the success of the Energiewende (energy transition).

In this context, German companies, some of whom are international leaders, will find support in the fields of calibration services and PV measurement technology. In solar cell calibration, PTB has already occupied the leading position worldwide – the competence center for PV metrology will expand this position to include solar modules. This will include the parameters necessary for a comprehensive calibration regarding all influence quantities that are relevant to energy yields.


In order to define the standard annual yield of PV systems, the influence of a wide range of testing conditions on the output of solar modules must be determined. Here, PTB is focused on difficult-to-define quantities: STC power, angular dependence, dependence of the spectrum and wind-speed dependency of the solar module temperature. To this end, reference measurement facilities for solar energy are being set up; with the lowest measurement uncertainty worldwide and with extremely high precision, these facilities will define all the properties of reference solar modules that must be determined in accordance with standards.