Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Photovoltaic Systems

Our group

Our research is focused on the PV system as a whole and in real operating and market conditions. Therefore, the challenges driving our research come from the reality and the problems expressed by PV industry. Our team was founded by Prof. Lorenzo in 1984, initiating and leading this research line in Europe. Now the team is directed by Prof. Luis Narvarte and it is composed of 15 researchers.
Responding to the PV industry problems and high level research is compatible, as shown by more than 20 PhD thesis, 90 papers in international journals, 4 patents, 11 competitive European projects, 50 contracts with the main actors of the industry, two spin-offs,…

Our work

Our objective is to assure the expected service, quality, reliability and long-term durability of PV systems in the field. With this goal, our work is focused on these main research lines:

  • The quality of large PV plants: from the energy yield simulation with low uncertainty to the quality control procedures for bankability processes.

  • New market niches for PV systems: developing solutions with high potential market as PV irrigation of PV cooling.

  • PV rural electrification: assuring the reliability of Solar Home Systems or PV minigrids in rural areas of developing countries.

Activity and other data of interest 

Our activity is focused on two different areas: advanced engineering and quality services to the PV industry, and collaborative research projects at national and international level.

Advanced services to the PV industry: From 2006 to 2016, our group has been involved in the technical quality assurance of 78 multiMW PV plants, up to a total of 302 MW and distributed in 12 countries. 

Most of this experience has been performed on the frame of “due-diligences” associated to the bank financing of large PV plants, working for the most important companies and banks in the world. This particular frame has given rise to the definition of a cluster of standardized services:

Out of these standard engineering services, our group  also provides technical assistance for wide panoply of practical problems, including the diagnosis of lower than expected production PV plants and general consulting to PV promotion programs. Relevant activities on the last have been the Design and Technical Specification of PV plants, up to the extent of preparing the corresponding call for proposals documentation. Because the pioneering character of some of this work, it has often being the object of publications in high level international scientific journals.

Our group is currently very well equipped for in-lab and in-field testing of PV modules, PV generators an DC/AC inverters, and has develop own software and dedicated testing procedures. 

Regarding the collaborative research projects, we have coordinated relevant projects in our main research lines:

  • PV modules and large PV plants (Quality control of large PV plants and Automatic detection of PV performance failures)
  • New market niches for PV systems (Large PV pumping systems for irrigation, PV heating and cooling , and Integration of batteries in PV plants)
  • Rural PV electrification (Reliability in large rural electrification programmes, and PV centrals and minigrids)

As an example, we have coordinated important European projects like PVCROPS to reduce the levelized cost of PV electricity and to allow the high penetration of PV systems in the EU electrical networks, or MASLOWATEN for the development and market uptake of large PV irrigation systems.


Head of PV Systems Group:
Prof. Luis Narvarte

E-mail:Luis Narvarte

PV plants | Energy yield estimation | Quality control procedures | PV pumping | PV rural electrification.


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