WG 1: PV monitoring

This WG’s Chair is prof.dr. Wilfried van Sark (UU) and its Vice Chair is dr. Christian Braun (FhG-ISE).

Email for contact: w.g.j.h.m.vansark-at-uu.nl


WG1 aims to contribute towards increasing performance and reliability of PV systems by analysing monitoring data across Europe and correlating this to key design features of PV systems, their installation, operation and maintenance practice, as well as their geographic location and weather factors, and performance degradation over time and failure modes. In this WG the following objectives are followed:

  1. Development of generally accepted approaches and guidelines for the collection of data about the performance of PV modules and PV systems of data using advanced monitoring of systems by (i) data loggers (ii) smart meters as provided by utilities, (iii) internet scavenging techniques and (iv) measurements by satellites, as well as (v) visual inspections.
  2. Collection of available data on a server, managed by WG1 at University of Twente.
  3. Development of generally accepted approaches and guidelines for the use and/or analysis of data about irradiance and the performance of PV modules and PV systems.
  4. Provision of access to data about the performance of PV modules and systems to the participants of the COST Action.

Sharing of knowledge originating from WG1 with a wider community of PV experts and other renewable energy experts by Internet, workshops, seminars and joint publications about the topic PV monitoring and the use and evaluation of data in the server of WG1.

Conclusions and future outlook:

WG1 is organized in several Tasks: 

  • Task 1.1: Development of generally accepted approaches and guidelines for the collection of data, about irradiance and the performance of PV modules and systems. 
  • Task 1.2 : Compilation of a data-bank on a server, using standardised formats for data decided upon at meetings with PV monitoring experts. 
  • Task 1.3 : Development of generally accepted approaches and guidelines for the analysis and/or interpretation of meteorological data and data about the performance of PV modules and systems via meetings with PV monitoring experts and scientific documentation of these approaches and guidelines showing their advantages and disadvantages, relevance, accuracy and complexity of application. 
  • Task 1.4 : Development of (i) an access strategy to data stored on a server and (ii) a policy for use of these data in the framework of costs, publishing and IP for COST Action participants and external parties.  

At present in 2022, guidelines for monitoring have been reviewed (Task 1.1 has been completed), and a databank system has been set-up and is fully functional (Task 1.2 has been completed) including the in Task 1.4 described access strategy and NDA. Currently various data is being uploaded, which was incentivized by focusing on the definition of various research questions, developed in various (online) workshops and webinars. Some of these research questions are: how does the solar spectrum change across Europe, is degradation of PV systems depending on climatic conditions, and do these conditions lead to different degradation. This contributed also to the finalization of Task 1.3 in that approaches and guidelines are developed and used for the analysis and/or interpretation of PV performance and meteorological data 

WG 1 in the context of Country Reports 

WG1 is composed of participants from over 20 European countries and its research activities are international. Data analyses have been carried out on the PEARLPV databank that comprise of PV performance data in many countries of Europe. Therefore, to better understand the situation in these countries, the information supplied by the Country Reports is very useful. Pearl PV Country Reports 2020 download – PEARL PV (pearlpv-cost.eu)


D1. Publications of findings originating from WG1 in high-impact scientific journals, conference proceedings and via the COST Action’s website

D2. Reports of the WG 1 activities (month 12, 24, 36, 48), including the organisation of one workshop per year and one seminar per year on PV monitoring.

D3. A data bank to be realized on the server of University of Twente.


Guidelines for monitoring of PV systems: T1.1-Guidelines
Databank: http://ckan.pearlpv-cost.eu
Usermanual databank: PearlPV-databank-usermanual
NDA databank: NDA-databank

Selected publications

A.H.M.E. Reinders, D. Moser, W.G.J.H.M. van Sark, G. Oreski, N.M. Pearsall, A. Scognamiglio, J. Leloux, Introducing ‘PEARL PV’: Performance and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems – Evaluations of Large-Scale Monitoring Data, 35th EU PVSEC, Brussels, September 2018.

B.R. Paudyal, A.G. Imenes, T.O. Saetre, Review of Guidelines for PV Systems Performance and Degradations Monitoring, 35th EU PVSEC, Brussels, September 2018.

Angèle Reinders, David Moser, Wilfried Van Sark, Gernot Oreski, Nicola Pearsall, Alessandra Scognamiglio, Jonathan Leloux Introducing ‘PEARL-PV’: Performance and Reliability of Photovoltaic Systems: Evaluations of Large-Scale Monitoring Data 2018 IEEE 7th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC) (A Joint Conference of 45th IEEE PVSC, 28th PVSEC & 34th EU PVSEC), Washington D.C., June 2018.

Reinders, A.H.M.E., Van Slooten, F., Moser, D., Van Sark, W., Oreski, G., Ottersboeck, B., Pearsall, N., Devetaković, M., Leloux, J., Capeska Bogatinoska, D., Braun, C., Gerd Imenes, A., Driesse, A., Development of a big data bank for PV monitoring data, analy-sis and simulation in COST Action ‘PEARL PV’, 46th IEEE PVSC, Chicago, 2019.

Van Sark, W.G.J.H.M., Photovoltaic System Design and Performance, Energies, Volume 12, 1826, 2019.
Special Issue of Applied Sciences on “Performance analysis of photovoltaic systems“, Ed: Van Sark, W.G.J.H.M., Moser, D. and Reinders, A.H.M.E., MDPI, Basel, Switzerland, 2020.

Basant Raj Paudyal, Sakthi Guhan Somasundaram, Angele Reinders, Atse Louwen, Wilfried G.J.H.M. van Sark, Dirk Stellbogen, Carolin Ulbrich, Anne Gerd Imenes, Analysis of spectral irradiance variation in northern Europe using average photon energy as a single parameter, Solar Energy (submitted 2022)

List of WG members (status update April 2022):

Task 1.1
Anne Gerd Imenes (Task leader)
Marius Paulescu
Petru Cotfas
Mohammadreza Aghaei
Ioannis Gialetis
Tareq Abu Hamed
Espen Olson
Miltiadis Ionas
Kristijan Brecl
Giorgio Belluardo
Kun Kunaifi
Gabi Friesen

Task 1.2
Anton Driesse (Task leader)
Dijana Capeska Bogatinoska 
Roland Valckenborg
Daniel Piasecki
Christian Braun

Task 1.3
Carolin Ulbrich (Task leader)
Georgio Belluardo 
Petru Cotfas
Ioannis Gialetis
Miltiadis Ionas
Henrik te Heesen
Anton Driesse
Dirk Stellbogen

Task 1.4
Cihan Cercek (Task leader) 
Wilfried van Sark
Carolin Ulbrich
Christian Braun