KU Leuven’s Living Lab (BE): past and present united
The Living Lab at KU Leuven Technology Campus Ghent is making good progress, despite the cold snap and snowfall in February 2021, and covid-related challenges.
Evolution of PV modules
The active awning in front of the Living Lab hosts 10 PV modules, showing the variety of PV modules available on the market, and the evolution over the past decades.
Between 2006 and 2020, the world’s cumulative installed PV capacity grew by more than 750 GW (from ~6 GW to 758 GW), while the cost of PV modules and systems declined tremendously: in Germany, PV modules in 2006 cost €4.0/Wp, versus €0.38/Wp in 2017, a 90% decline! Worldwide, this PV module prices decreased by 40% for each cumulative doubling in worldwide capacity. In this period, PV modules increased in efficiency and power rating from (maximum) 220 Wp (2006) to 470 W (2021).
See the different generations with your own eyes
The active awning at the Living Lab demonstrates a range of these technologies for visitors and students at the Faculty of Engineering Technology. These include bifacial PV modules (sunlight is captured on both the front and back of the module), or semi-transparent modules for use in agrivoltaic (=combination of PV and agriculture) applications, as well as coloured modules that provide aesthetic benefits. The active awning and its modules will permit evaluations of the benefits of DC-DC optimisers to reduce mismatch between the different modules.
Stay tuned for the next newsletter where we discuss the rest of the Living Lab technologies!