Variability-Reducing Quality Control Methods in Photovoltaics

The project (Nov 2010 - Nov 2012) is financed by the Ministery for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and supported by TÜV Rheinland Immissionsschutz und Energiesysteme GmbH, SolarWorld AG and AVANCIS GmbH. We collaborate with the Institute of Computer Engineering, Control and Robotics of Wroclaw University of Technology.


This interdisciplinary research project aims to bring together mathematical and engineering expertise from academia and industry, in order to solve challenging problems appearing in photovoltaics - one of most promising technologies to solve the world's energy problem - by applying as well as extending appropriate mathematical methods.

The planned research focuses on several topics. Firstly, we aim at developing and studying new stochastic acceptance sampling plans for photovoltaic data, which lead to smaller variances of the required sample size of control samples. Such methods could allow both producers and consumers (end users) of photovoltaic modules to apply cost cutting stochastic sampling plans in the presence of much smaller flasher report tables than before. In the same vain, the planning reliability could be improved substantially. Secondly, our goal is to construct and analyze problem-specific methods for the comparison of production sites. Lastly, we will investigate how to harmonize methods for collecting control measurements, particularly for the purpose of evaluation.

Computer simulations on a larger scale are planned, firstly, to analyze in greater detail the available methods and, secondly, in order to clarify whether factors such as the technology (crystalline/thin-film) have to be taken into account when selecting the method.