PI Berlin

The Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin is a leading technical advisor, risk manager and quality assurance provider for PV power plants and equipment. With its experienced team of researchers, scientists and engineers, PI Berlin offers a wide range of design, testing and evaluation services with a focus on the risk management and quality assurance of PV equipment and complex PV power plants. PI Berlin has an IEC 17025 accredited test laboratory at its Berlin, Germany location for evaluating the performance, reliability and durability of solar modules and in Suzhou, China.

Modules are tested according to strict criteria that meet or exceed IEC standards. SolarBuyer, a leading provider of factory audits, was acquired by PI Berlin in 2018.


  • Systematic investigation of defective thin-film modules and publication of a comprehensive EL failure catalogue:
    The catalogue will be a compilation of a large data set of seasonally gathered images, electrical and system data from a range of different PV plants all together coupled with controlled experiments and a thorough statistical analysis. Failure mechanisms will be classified by type, severity and development over time.
  • Improvement of standardised measurements and technology specific stabilization methods:
    Essential for the economic success of a solar plant are the specifications given in EPC contracts that ensure the supplied modules perform according to their rated power during plant lifetime. Especially for thin film technologies the current manufacturer-specified measurement procedures do not necessarily match with the real energy production of modules in operation. As a consequence, any warranty claims are very difficult to resolve for plant investors and owners. The aim is to improve this situation by a comparison of label values and data gathered on site.
  • Development of a fast, image-based system for quality rating of installed thin film modules:
    Systematic inspection can increase overall system power output and decrease O&M costs. A cost effective inspection method is necessary due to high global PV growth rates and rapidly growing plant sizes. Analysis with the help of images is a non-destructive method that shows the precise location and severity of module defects.


Thomas Weber, weber@pi-berlin.com


PID affected TF module showing TCO-Corrosion.
EL picture with corresponding power deviation to label.
PI scope within Workpackages.