Within the Sunovate project UHasselt is using their newly developed sensor platform to measure temperature and strain within PV laminates. The technique is based on Fiber Bragg gratings that can be integrated into PV laminates or laminates of architectural glass as shown in the image. In the represented test sample, four temperature and strain sensing units are integrated.
Initial testing and validation of the sensor technology are very promising and show that small temperature changes can be reproducibly monitored. In parallel to validating the sensing technique, UHasselt and IMEC are further developing integration methods of this sensor platform towards mass production applications.
One of the most important applications of the sensor platform is in validating various simulations in R&D, such as validation of calculated strains and temperatures within the stack of a PV laminate. In the Sunovate project these sensors will be used to measure temperature changes and differences when applying the thermochromic pigments in architectural. Or PV applications with minimal interference with normal functioning of these applications since these sensors are fully transparent and become virtually invisible within the laminates.