PROMISE Special Session

The PROMISE Special Panel discussion is on ‘Reliability, degradation and performance of PV Systems‘, co-chaired by Ms Eugenia Zugasti and Dr Monica Aleman partners of PROMISE project from CENER and Bacquerel Institute respectively.

PROMISE aims to create an alliance of photovoltaic excellence through scientific, engineering and research performance within the Maltese research community reliability of existing and emerging module technologies and systems, including the digitalisation aspects for prediction and optimisation algorithms for innovative solutions to support the energy transition. The Maltese research community, led by the Foundation for Innovation and Research – Malta (FiR) and supported by local technology innovator PIXAM Ltd. will stimulate scientific excellence and sustained collaborations with four world-leading research institutions AIT (Austria), CENER (Spain), CEA (France), and BI Becquerel Institute (Belgium), and Anhalt University of Applied Sciences (Germany) as the leading EU academic applied practice partner. In particular, PROMISE will perform two programmes in research and knowledge considering gender balance, early career researchers and sustainable development goals. The research framework includes a bottom-up approach for a Malta-based research platform on PV reliability, including infrastructure, data collection, analysis and modelling/verification through module test rig, satellite and drone vision technologies and an in-field database of solar module manufacturers. The knowledge gain and transfer framework includes capacity building activities, including a series of workshops, winter/summer schools, training programmes, internships, meetings, mentoring, and research management and administration upskilling. The PROMISE results, lessons learnt, best practices, and success stories will feed a scalability opportunity, extending the research platform to a nationwide/regional landscape while also generating concrete research capacity for a more enabling environment for research in PV reliability in Malta as a solar country and regional energy hub.


16:00 - 16:05

Welcome Address

Chairs of the PROMISE Special Panel Programme
Dr Monica Aleman (Becquerel Institute)
Ms Eugenia Zugasti (CENER) 

16:05 - 16:25

Launch of PROMISE Project

Project Overview
Dr Inġ. Brian Azzopardi
The Foundation for Innovation and Research – Malta (Coordinator)

Address by the PROMISE Project EU Officer
Ms Agne Dobranskyte-Niskota

16:25 - 17:10

Panel Topic Presentations

Operation of PV Systems in harsh climates. Soiling
Dr Veronica Bermudez, QEERI

Long term outdoor performance and degradation of different PV technologies
Dr. Atse Louwen, EURAC

O&M Guidelines for different applications and climate zones
Dr Ulrike Jahn, IEA-PVPS

Reliability of materials. Typical failures
Dr Elisabeth Klimm, 

Aerial diagnosis and monitoring to analyze performance of PV system
Mr Ildefonso Muñoz, CENER

17:10 - 17:30

Open Discussion

Today’s challenges for the operations and maintenance of PV systems and technological innovations to face them

Dr Atse Louwen
EURAC Research Institute

Dr Atse Louwen is a senior researcher in the Photovoltaic Systems group of the EURAC Research Institute for Renewable Energy in Bolzano, Italy. He studies PV system performance, reliability, and sustainability.

Ms Elisabeth Klimm

Elisabeth Klimm holds a master’s degree in process and environmental engineering. From 2010 on she focused on solar research and reliability at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. Her topics in the field of service life analysis involved material testing on component surfaces and inorganics, analytics and characterization methods, standardized and adjusted testing, and design of testing methods such as for soiling. She is a member of the Environmental Engineering Society and participates in the working groups for numerical environmental simulation and salt spray testing on corrosion analysis. Currently, Ms Klimm is active in the fields of desert research for PV and the digitization of aging phenomena in polymers with the Anhalt University of Applied Science.

Ms Ulrike Jahn
International Energy Agency (IEA-PVPS)

Ulrike Jahn is the project manager of an international expert group, Task 13 of the PVPS programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA), dealing with technical and financial issues of PV performance and quality of PV systems. She coordinates this network of 120 international experts in 25 countries in their joint efforts to assess and improve the performance, operation and reliability of PV systems over their lifetime. Since 2018, Ulrike is a Member of the Steering Committee of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) leading the working group on PV reliability and circularity.

Dr Veronica Bermudez Benito
Qatar Environment Research Institute (QEERI)

Dr Verónica Bermúdez is a Senior Research Director at Qatar Environment Research Institute (QEERI) where she is the Director of the Energy Center. She is leading scientific and technological research, development, and innovation at QEERI in the field of Energy, addressing the impact of climate change and developing sustainable solutions in a Net-Zero Carbon emissions scenario.

Mr Ildefonso Muñoz Morales

BSc in Electrical Engineering in 2000 and MSc in Renewable Energies & Electric Generation (UPNa, Spain). Part of the scientific staff of CENER since June 2003. Head of PV inverters laboratory and member of working group of solar trackers as accredited testing laboratory (IEC 62817) at CENER. Expert in design and sizing of PV installations (including solar resource and energy production estimation, developing of preliminary projects, Due Diligence and evaluation of EPC and O&M contracts) and the electronic power converters for PV applications. Member of technical committee for national regulation of PV plants, translator of international standards to the official Spanish version. He has actively participated in national and EU projects and contributed with several publications in international conferences. 

Eugenia Zugasti

Department of Solar Energy Technologies and Storage of CENER, National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain.
During her more than 18 years at CENER, she has participated in different R&D projects funded by Spanish and European entities in the area of photovoltaic solar energy, mainly related to the processing of solar photovoltaic devices. Lately, her main area of work is focused on the simulation and characterization of the performance and stability of emerging PV technologies. In addition, she also works on the optimization of crystalline silicon wafer solar cell metallization processes and performs consulting services on market and technological aspects along the PV value chain.


Dr. Monica Aleman

Monica Aleman is Head of Research and Innovation at the Becquerel Institute in Belgium. She is currently working tecno-economic assessments of PV related topics ranging from the development of new device technologies up to the integration into the grid. She is WP leader and exploitation manager in various EU-funded projects. Between 2004 and 2009 she worked on silicon solar cells metallization at FhG ISE in Germany. From 2009 until 2020 she worked at imec, in Belgium as cell integration and characterization expert. She received a degree in mechanical engineering from Venezuela in 2003 and a PhD in microelectronics from University of Freiburg, Germany in 2013. She has authored and coauthored about 90 conference and journal papers and 6 patents.