Solar Power Systems

The Solar Power Systems Department performs research and development related to utility-scale solar parks, floating solar systems, and integration of solar solutions in the Nordic area. We work in close collaboration with Norwegian and international partners to support the development and implementation of various solar power technologies.

To accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy system, renewable power needs to expand significantly. As a consequence, solar power plants are anticipated to make up the largest share of power production capacity within the next two decades. Norwegian energy companies are currently involved in several fields related to solar power systems, ranging from utility-scale solar parks to building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

Our activities at the department are divided into three main areas. Within utility-scale solar parks, we focus on how to achieve cost-efficient plants by utilizing digital tools in order to study various aspects that influence the performance of the plants. Within floating photovoltaics (FPV), we perform research related to the development of individual FPV technologies, focusing especially on performance and reliability in both real working conditions and in the lab. We also have significant activity related to the integration of solar energy in the Nordics, with a special focus on building-integrated photovoltaics and how colder climates and snowfall influence the power production from solar plants.

IFE is the host of the FME center SuSolTech. The center has been in operation for over 10 years and has been a significant contributor to Norwegian growth in solar power.

Who we are

Arne Lind, Department Head

Eivind Bekken Sveen, PhD-student

Gaute Otnes, Researcher

Heine Nygard Riise, Researcher

Jonathan Fagerstrøm, Researcher

Josefine Helene Selj, Researcher and Group leader

Linda Orø, Department Coordinator

Magnus Moe Nygård, Researcher

Mari Øgaard, PhD-student

Marie Syre Wiig, Researcher

Nathan Roosloot, PhD-student

Tine Uberg Nærland, Researcher

Torunn Kjeldstad, Researcher

Bjørn Aarseth, PhD-student

Erik Stensrud Marstein, Researcher and Group leader

Åsmund Skomedal, PhD-student

Our research areas

Solar power plants – performance analyses, prediction, degradation, monitoring, etc.

Floating photovoltaics – technology development, optimization, performance, degradation, etc.

Integrated solar power in Nordic markets – system optimization, performance analyses, solar and snow conditions, etc.

Module Characterization and Testing Laboratory

Module Outdoor Testing

Highlighted projects

FLOW – Floating Solar Systems – The main goal of this project is to start the growth of a domestic industry in f-PV by developing, documenting and publishing critical, new knowledge related to the performance and degradation of f-PV and to clarify specific requirements for O&M.

Performance and Reliability of Ocean Suns floating photovoltaic Technology – Together with Ocean Sun AS, we are exploring the unique opportunities of the Ocean Sun technology: Improved yield through direct water cooling, increased module packing density and improved reliability through reducing thermal strain.

Be-Smart (H2020) – Together for active and efficient buildings through the integration of Energy Positive Glazing (EPoG) elements.

Solutions and strategies for operation and maintenance of utility-scale solar power plants – The main objectives of this project are to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of operation and maintenance of PV parks at payload and to improve the performance and reliability of Scatec Solar and Equinor’s existing and future PV plant.

Smart Nærstrøm – “Local and smart electricity”- In this project, we develop and pilot algorithms and practical solutions to control the energy system in buildings with local production of renewable energy.

Solar Farm  – The project develops innovative technical solutions and methods that reduce emissions from tractor driving and reduce emissions due to poor utilization of added nitrogen fertilizer. The methods must be able to be used on most Norwegian farms

SUNPOINT – In this project, using accurate energy assessments, IFE will evaluate the technical potential of Norwegian solar energy.

Publications

We wish to contribute to increased knowledge within solar power systems, and do this through a focus on publications in recognised scientific journals, contributions to IEA PVPS, and through scientific outreach.

Scientific publications

Ø. Øvrum, J. M. Marchetti, S. Kelesoglu and E. S. Marstein, “Comparative Analysis of Site-Specific Soiling Losses on PV Power Production,” in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 158-163, Jan. 2021, doi: 10.1109 / JPHOTOV.2020.3032906.

Å. Skomedal and M. G. Deceglie, “Combined Estimation of Degradation and Soiling Losses in Photovoltaic Systems,” in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 1788-1796, Nov. 2020, doi: 10.1109 / JPHOTOV.2020.3018219.

Å. Skomedal, B L. Aarseth, H Haug, J Selj, ES. Marstein, «How much power is lost in a hot-spot? A case study quantifying the effect of thermal anomalies in two utility scale PV power plants », Solar Energy, Volume 211,2020, Pages 1255-1262

W. Adler, M. S. Wiig, Å. Skomedal, H. Haug and E. S. Marstein, “Degradation Analysis of Utility-Scale PV Plants in Different Climate Zones,” in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, doi: 10.1109 / JPHOTOV.2020.3043120.

M B. Øgaard, HN Riise, H Haug, S Sartori, J H. Selj, «Photovoltaic system monitoring for high latitude locations», Solar Energy 207 (2020) 1045–1054, https://doi.org/10.1016/j .solener.2020.07.043

Å. Skomedal, H. Haug and E. S. Marstein, “Endogenous Soiling Rate Determination and Detection of Cleaning Events in Utility-Scale PV Plants,” in IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 858-863, May 2019, doi: 10.1109 / JPHOTOV.2019.2899741.

Andenæs, BP Jelle, K. Ramlo, T. Kolås, J. Selj, SE Foss, «The influence of snow and ice coverage on the energy generation from photovoltaic solar cells”, Solar Energy, Volume 159, 2018, Pages 318-328 , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2017.10.078.

G. Imenes and J. Selj, “Irradiance and temperature distributions at high latitudes: Design implications for photovoltaic systems,” 2017 IEEE 44th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), Washington, DC, 2017, pp. 619-625, doi: 10.1109 / PVSC.2017.8366376.

Pedersen, J. Strauss, J. Selj, «Effect of Soiling on Photovoltaic Modules in Norway», Energy Procedia, Volume 92, 2016, Pages 585-589, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2016.07. 023.

Conference proceedings

B.L. Aarseth, A. Skomedal, M.B. Øgaard, E.S. Marstein, “The Influence of Thermal Signatures Observed with Infrared Thermography on Power Production in a Utility Scale Power Plant” – 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2020, https://doi.org/10.4229/EUPVSEC20202020-5DO.3.1

Skomedal, M.G. Deceglie, H. Haug, E.S. Marstein, “Iterative and Self-Consistent Estimation of Degradation and Soiling Loss in PV Systems – a Case Study” – 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2020, https://doi.org/10.4229/EUPVSEC20202020-5DO.1.3

Å Skomedal, MB Øgaard, J Selj, H Haug, ES Marstein, «General, robust and scalable methods for string level monitoring in utility scale pv systems» – 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2019

Mari B. Øgaard, Å. Skomedal and J. H. Selj, «performance evaluation of monitoring algorithms for photovoltaic systems”, 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2019

G. Otnes, M B. Øgaard, L T. Milde, S E. Foss, and J H. Selj, “Detailed loss analysis for wall mounted photovoltaic systems at high latitude; a comparison of multicrystalline Si- to CIGS modules ”, 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2019

B.B. Aarseth, M.B. Øgaard, J. Zhu, T. Strömberg, J.A. Tsanakas, J.H. Selj, E.S. Marstein, “Mitigating Snow on Rooftop PV Systems for Higher Energy Yield and Safer Roofs”, 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2018, https://doi.org/10.4229/35thEUPVSEC20182018-6CO.3.5

B. Øgaard, H. Haug and J H. Selj, “Dethods for quality control of monitoring data from commercial pv systems”, 35th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, 2018

Reports

Through our involvement in the FME Centre SuSolTech and in collaboration with the Norwegian Solar Energy Cluster , we have lead the work on the Roadmap for the Norwegian Solar Cell Industry Towards 2030.

Selected popular science publications 

«Norsk klima perfekt for solenergi – likevel henger vi etter», NRK 2021. Link: https://www.nrk.no/tromsogfinnmark/norsk-klima-gir-gode-forhold-for-a-utvikle-solkraft-1.15330672

«Innlegg: Gjør klart for en bølge av flytende solkraft», Dagens Næringsliv, J. Selj, 2020, link: https://www.dn.no/innlegg/teknologi/energi/solkraft/innlegg-gjor-klart-for-en-bolge-av-flytende-solkraft/2-1-812173

«Solceller lever lenger i Norge enn i varmere strøk», Dagens Næringsliv, J. Selj, E. Sveen, G. Otnes, 2020. Link: https://www.dn.no/forskningviser-at-/energi/solenergi/solceller/innlegg-solceller-lever-lenger-i-norge-enn-i-varmere-strok/2-1-902360

«Kan bruke strøm til å smelte snøen på solcellene», Dagens Næringsliv, MB Øgaard,  B L. Aarseth og  J.Selj, , 2019. Link: https://www.dn.no/teknologi/solceller/solenergi/fornybar-energi/kan-bruke-strom-til-a-smelte-snoen-pa-solcellene/2-1-535954

«Bærekraft kan gi norsk solcellefortrinn», Dagens Næringslivs teknologispalte, 2018, J. Selj og Erik Marstein. Link: https://www.dn.no/teknologi/solceller/solenergi/klima/barekraft-kan-gi-norsk-solcellefortrinn/2-1-271718

Contributions in other media 

“Forskning på flytende solenergi», Solenergiklyngens podcast, 2020, Josefine Selj. Link: http://solenergiklyngen.no/2020/03/23/podcast-fra-solenergiklyngen/

«Veikart for den norske solbransjen mot 2030», Solenergiklyngens podcast, 2021, Erik Marstein. Link: http://solenergiklyngen.no/2020/03/23/podcast-fra-solenergiklyngen/

«Abels Tårn – Forgård: Flytende sol», NRK P2, 2021, Torunn Kjeldstad. Link: https://radio.nrk.no/podkast/abels_taarn/l_ff1e239b-4022-4ea6-9e23-9b40225ea617

Innslag på NRK Nyhetsmorgen , NRK P2, 2021, Gaute Otnes. Link: https://radio.nrk.no/serie/nyhetsmorgen/sesong/202101/NPUB32001121#t=;;HH_start;;h;;MM_start;;m;;SS_start;;s

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+47 922 81 635

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