Photovoltaic Modules for the Australian Environment (PV-Mate)



Project Updates

  • PV-Mate has submitted 5 full papers to the APVI conference in Brisbane 2015 (See research update below)
  • The project recently passed milestone 3

The Project

Through the PV-Mate project we are designing PV modules to maximise their effectiveness in Australia, proving modules tailored specifically for Australian conditions. 

PV-Mate is an ARENA R&D project with 5 industry partners. 




  • Tindo Solar is the only PV manufacturing plant in Australia. It was established in 2011 in Adelaide and produces 8.5 MWp of modules/year.
  • PV Lab Australia have the only AAA-rated sun simulators in Australia. They are a specialised test laboratory with a focus on quality assurance and risk evaluation for PV modules.
  • PV Lighthouse consults to the PV industry. They have world leading expertise in cell design, characterization, simulation, experimental planning, error and loss analysis.
  • Sunpulse is a consulting company based in Japan. They are solar farm design and modelling specialists, typically employed to determine power output for solar PV projects considering site-specific effects.
  • Brisbane Materials have developed a novel anti-reflection coating (ARC) for module glass that allows 3% more light to be transmitted to the solar cell. 

Reserach Update

Coastal solar resources appear slightly skewed. From a recent investigation in to Solar resources from around Australia using the ASEIS mapping tool . We investigated the solar resource at the locations marked in map.


For Brisbane other coastal cities the DNI is skewed to the afternoon. There is more direct irradiance due to the local climate in the afternoons. Without the influence of atmospheric precipitation the measured DNI curves presented in the below figure should be symmetric. 

This indicates that the optimum orientation is 13° West of North. The difference in yield is small when comparing the optimum orientation and a due North facing system (0.5% increase in total energy yield). The energy yield difference between a West and East orientated systems is significant (Up to 5% for a NW orientated system compared with NE orientated system). We conclude that the ASEIS mapping tool should be consulted prior to choosing a for installation of a PV system. 

Through this study we also investigated the performance loss due to module temperature. We the computed effect of temperature on module performance for the depicted locations, for 5 different PV module technologies. 

We give an full discussion of the PR results in our APVI paper. We also do an energy yield analysis considering temperature for the same locations, normalised to the installed kWp. 

From the above graph we see the modelled energy yield per kWp for an optimally positioned system with no shading or losses other than the impact of temperature. Hence, this type of modelling suggests that a kWp system in Sydney would yield around 1400 kWh per year. Hence a typical 3 kWp system could yield up to 4200 kWh per year. We find the impact of module technology on temperature losses is more significant for regions with a high average monthly maximum temperature. 

Finally we comment that this yield modelling uses average insolation data over the last 20 years it is not a full loss analysis and is only intended to provide comparative data useful when selecting systems.





Updated:  1 January 2018/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing