What was your original motivation to become a researcher/project manager?
My journey to becoming a researcher in the field of PV was a bit of a strange one. I have a bachelor in Biology, which I started due to my passion for all things nature. At the end, I wanted to do more applied research, and followed a course in Energy Science, and later a master with the same name. During the master I moved into the field of life-cycle assessment and renewable energy, and during my PhD I narrowed the focus to PV! I think PV is an amazing technology, and I want to help its deployment by ensuring it is manufactured as sustainably as possible and has long-term high performance in the field.
What is your main research area today?
Today I am Team Leader Performance, Reliability and Sustainability of PV. A lot of the work of me and my team focuses on outdoor monitoring of PV, but also on using our knowledge in this area to improve operation and maintenance activities and applying digitalization along the PV value chain. The other big part of our work involves PV sustainability, which we evaluate using a.o. lifecycle assessment, to drive the industry towards ever more sustainable PV.
What is the main focus of your team in PILATUS?
Our team’s main focus is leading work package 4 on metrology and reliability of the PILATUS technology. Together with the partners, we are setting up several outdoor testing facilities to monitor the new modules produced in the project. We’ll use a combination of data streams to demonstrate the performance of this new technology. Aside from this, we contribute to the sustainability analyses in WP6, and the business model and cost analyses in WP7.
From all your activities within the project, what are you the most proud of/keen to share with the public?
In PILATUS we are making a thorough evaluation of PV manufacturing in Europe to analyse how we can produce this technology in the most sustainable manner, and these results are very valuable for the PV – LCA community, as we need up to date data for this quickly evolving technology. Also, together with almost all partners we will be evaluating the quality and reliability of a Made in Europe PV module, by combining loads of data from the manufacturing line to indoor stress testing and outdoor monitoring. This will surely lead to interesting new insights!
How do you expect the PILATUS results will impact your organisation and the PV sector in Europe?
At Eurac Research, we have a long experience in outdoor monitoring of PV, and we operate indoor labs for PV characterisation. In PILATUS, we can continue to expand our knowledge, but now we can also analyse the quality and reliability of PV by using data all the way from the cell production line to the field. Our contribution to the sustainability analyses helps us expand our research activities in this field in an interesting time of large focus on EU based manufacturing and in a larger community of LCA researchers in Horizon EU projects.