The HIPERION project is working on the mass production of a new innovative high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) module based on an optical micro-tracking technology, which concentrates sunlight on multi-junction solar cells mounted on top of a conventional silicon plate. The resulting high-efficiency solar modules (>30% STC in direct sunlight) with a standard flat module form factor can be mounted on any support or roof.
Having entered the last project phase, the HIPERION innovative hybrid PV modules are deployed in several commercial pilot sites, to validate their performance and reliability.
Four locations have been identified to host the pilot sites: three in Europe, i.e., in Portugal, Switzeland and Belgium, and one in Chile.
The first pilot site was installed in October 2022 under consortium partner MUON ELECTRIC lead nearby Porto. This 15-module ground installation (approximately 10 m²), is representative of a self-consumption building use case. Its comprising systems which ensure energy production (through HIPERION modules), storage, heating/cooling, grid injection and consumption, and therefore it supplies 100% energy independent solution for a typical Portuguese household.
Read more on the Porto pilot site: https://hiperion-project.eu/newsletter/hiperion-commercial-pilot-site-in-portugal-operating/
The installation of the second HIPERION pilot site was successfully achieved in March 2023 in Gstaad, Switzerland, under the coordination of consortium partner 3S Swiss Solar Solutions. A total of 15 modules were installed on a tiled roof. The data collected will be representative of a plant located at 1050 meters above sea level, in alpine climatic conditions.
Read more on the Gstaad pilot site: https://hiperion-project.eu/hiperion-pilot-site-in-gstaad-successfully-installed/
ENGIE Laborelec is responsible for the installation of the third and fourth pilots, respectively in Belgium and Chile.
While the pilot in Belgium will involve a limited number of modules that will be installed on ENGIE Laborelec fully equipped test bench, which will allow to have daily access for activities such as IV curve measurements and thermal imaging, the pilot installation in Chile is situated in a remote location and is not designed for daily access. The site operates similarly to a utility scale PV plant. About 16 modules will be installed there, 8 of them will be placed on an east-west tracker while 8 will be installed on a fixed tilt structure. The Chile pilot site offers the opportunity to assess the performance of the modules in one of the harshest environments for PV modules, characterized by significant soiling and intense UV exposure. On the other hand, the high direct irradiance levels in this region makes it particularly suitable for this PV technology. Additionally, this pilot will allow to observe how HIPERION modules can benefit from east-west tracking.
As the project will end in August 2023, the monitoring and data evaluation of the HIPERION pilot sites will be continued beyond this date under the responsibility of the pilot site leaders and in close cooperation with the Coordinator CSEM and the Technical Leader Insolight.
Figures: Left: HIPERION pilot site in Gstaad. Right: HIPERION pilot site in Porto.