The MENA-SC is organized by six topical areas. Descriptions of each area are presented below.

The MENA-SC is organized by six topical areas. Descriptions of each area are presented below.

Areas :

  • AREA 1 : Unconventional and New Concepts for Future Technologies
  • AREA 2: Silicon Photovoltaic Materials and Devices
  • AREA 3: Perovskite and Organic Materials and Solar Cells
  • AREA 4: PV Module and System Reliability in MENA region
  • AREA 5: Solar Resource for PV and Forecasting
  • AREA 6: Power Electronics and Grid Integration

Technical Program


AREA 1: Unconventional and New Concepts for Future Technologies

Sub-areas:
Sub-Area 1.1: Unconventional Contact and Absorber Materials; Novel Deposition Techniques
Sub-Area 1.2: Device Architectures for Advanced Light Management and Spectral Shaping
Sub-Area 1.3: Special Technologies for Space-related applications
Sub-Area 1.4: Concentrated Solar Power Performance Analysis and Recent Discoveries


Area Description:
Paradigm shifts in solar cell technology are invariably preceded by breakthroughs arising from basic scientific research. This area comprises research and novel device concepts that will provide a platform for the development of future photovoltaic technologies. Papers are sought describing research in basic physical, chemical and optical phenomena, in addition to studies of new materials and innovative device designs, as well as photon management methods. Subjects of particular interest include, but are not limited to, new materials for all parts of the photovoltaic device, nanostructures, novel multijunction architectures, advanced optical management approaches, new materials and synthesis processes, and unconventional conversion mechanisms. Advanced and special technologies that can be applied to solve space-related issues and channelling energy efficiently are sought after. This area encompasses the topic of concentrated solar power (CSP) as well, which has gained high momentum in the past years due to its high efficiencies, and attractive storage capacity which can serve as an efficient source of energy during night hours. Several facets of CSP are sought after for a thorough understanding of solar receiver design, modelling and system applications of the thermal energy conversion and storage.

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 1.1: Unconventional Contact and Absorber Materials; Novel Deposition Techniques

Progress on the development of novel and unconventional contact and absorber materials as well as processing techniques for improving the performance, functionality, reliability, and scalability of PV devices. Topics of interest include new materials for PV, including Earth-abundant absorber materials, new contact materials including carrier selective contacts, transparent conducting materials, and transparent conducting oxides. Design and selection of new materials can enable applications in single crystalline, thin film, multijunction, and nanostructured PV devices, or may enable an entirely new device class on their own. Papers are sought that describe theoretical and/or experimental development of perovskite-inspired materials as well, including but not limited to absorber layers, coatings, electrode and carrier transport materials, and transparent conductive materials. Machine learning driven materials discovery and development work is also of interest. Advances in growth, synthesis, thin film deposition, doping and passivation schemes are also solicited. Also of interest are innovative strategies to reduce the cost of more established technologies, such as novel substrates and re-use processes. Ultimately, such advances may enable cleaner and more sustainable PV deployment.

Sub-area 1.2: Device Architectures for Advanced Light Management and Spectral Shaping

Modifications to the geometry of materials and devices can be used to realize advances in performance as well as relax material quality constraints. This sub-area covers new material or device geometries, from nanostructured and quantum dot materials to three-terminal tandems. These unconventional architectures have the potential to improve the performance of known PV materials or to supplant them entirely. Submissions including novel designs, new material morphologies such as nanostructures, implementation of new uses of quantum confinement, and the exploitation of varying dimensionality of confinement are encouraged. Materials and multilayers that form layered structures are of particular interest. Novel device geometries such as transistor-like or three-terminal structures are also of interest, including device design and simulation. Ideal submissions will range from studies of fundamental properties and materials to examples of working devices.

In order to achieve high power conversion efficiency, a solar cell must effectively utilize most of the incoming photons. This process involves the efficient coupling of the incident light into the solar cell with minimum loss, and effective use of the energy imparted by each photon. This Sub-area will focus on novel concepts, including advanced anti-reflection coatings, spectrum splitting, textured light trapping surfaces (front and/or rear surface), luminescent (fluorescent)/ micro-/nano-scale concentrator systems, and advanced photonic and plasmonic structures. With respect to plasmonics, both light trapping and hot carrier effects will be considered. It will also include photon recycling and angular restriction techniques for achieving improved open circuit voltages. In addition, ways to modify the spectrum of the incident sunlight using techniques such as up or down conversion either in planar layers or in waveguide structures will be considered. Papers submitted to this sub-area should address one or more of these themes and may be theoretical or experimental in nature.

Sub-area 1.3: Special Technologies for Space-related applications

This area is concerned with all aspects of photovoltaic power generation subjected to extreme environments. The space and near space environment combines UV light, particle radiation, extreme temperatures and vacuum, to name a few of the environmental factors. Papers are thus welcome that deal with the entire breadth of PV under these conditions, from cell and material technologies up to complete systems. Other welcomed topics within the area are Space Solar Cells and Space PV Systems, which include solar panel and blanket technology as well as solar arrays and structures. With typical long lifetimes, combined with the inability to service the space PV systems, reliability and the correct prediction of the on-orbit performance is of key importance and are also considered for submission. Of particular interest are ground based degradation experiments, cell and material degradation studies, flight experiments, and on-orbit measurements. This area also welcomes a wide range of specialty technologies such as mobile solar power (MSP), flexible and lightweight PV, and PV that operates in non-traditional environments, such as on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)s and automobiles.

Sub-Area 1.4: Concentrated Solar Power Performance Analysis and Recent Discoveries

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is a multi-faceted technology using solar thermal energy as a source to supply green electricity, green heat and green hydrogen. The technology is mature and has a global track record of more than three decades. More than six gigawatts of output from CSP power plants are installed worldwide. As CSP operates on concentrating sunlight via various systems such as parabolic mirror channels, solar towers with surrounding heliostats, and linear Fresnel collectors, the optical properties of the reflective surfaces and the consequent light scattering create a bottleneck of research for enhanced performance. The energy storage mechanism and associated liquid properties are crucial in understanding the system in its entirety. Soiling presents a great challenge in the MENA region: its circumvention as well as its mitigation are major research topics sought after, alongside forecasting and modeling of concentrator and exchanger system design framework for technology assessment. Also of interest are hybrid systems and comparative studies of PV/CPV/CSP systems for financial analysis, efficiency enhancement and accelerated performance.

AREA 2: Silicon Photovoltaic Materials and Devices

Sub-areas:
Sub-Area 2.1: Silicon Material, Metallization, Interconnection, and Module Integration
Sub-Area 2.2: Passivated, Carrier-Selective and Heterojunction Contacts
Sub-Area 2.3: Device Physics, Simulation and New Characterization Techniques for Silicon-based solar cells


Area Description:
Silicon has been the dominant photovoltaic technology for decades, with approximately 95% market share, and yet technological developments are accelerating rather than slowing. Commercial cell efficiencies exceeding 24% are becoming routine as manufacturers transition to novel structures and high-quality monocrystalline wafers, module costs have fallen and are now commonly a small fraction of an installed system’s cost, and the emergence of, e.g., bifacial and shingled cells has broadened the module flavors now available.

In this environment of rapid innovation, this area invites contributions that define, understand, and shape the future of silicon photovoltaic science and technology. Topics of interest span the breadth of the silicon solar field, ranging from silicon purity to thin-film deposition, from electronic transport through new contact structures to high-efficiency devices, from light management to loss analysis, and from interconnection to module field degradation caused by cell deterioration. We especially invite abstracts that can highlight the transition of systems from lab to commercial scale, including all associated challenges.

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 2.1: Silicon Material, Metallization, Interconnection, and Module Integration

This Sub-area covers all aspects related to treating and production of silicon material including crystallization, wafering, slicing technologies and alternative methods to produce silicon wafers such as direct wafering or epitaxy. Additionally, abstracts are welcome on the mechanical and electrical characteristics of the resulting wafers and their impact on device performance, including material changes during subsequent processing and defect engineering steps. This sub-area also covers thin silicon absorbers—including those of amorphous silicon, microcrystalline silicon, and related alloys focusing on their materials properties, deposition methods, cell design and performance, and degradation.

This Sub-area covers techniques for electrode formation, including printed metallization, plating, evaporation, dispensing or other transfer techniques, conductive adhesives, soldering, laser and thermal alloying of metals, transparent electrodes, selective doping, and contact opening for metallization. The electrodes are also the interface to the subsequent module integration, and thus the sub-area also welcomes abstracts on mechanical adhesion, multi-wire technologies, and the interconnection of advanced cell structures like back-contact cells.

Sub-area 2.2: Passivated, Carrier-Selective and Heterojunction Contacts

This sub-area focuses on contacts formed on silicon absorbers, and specifically those layers that passivate the absorber surface (maintain high quasi-Fermi-level splitting and thus high implied open-circuit voltage) or selectively extract electrons or holes (minimize the quasi-Fermi-level drop across the contact). Abstracts are welcome on the device physics and characterization of contacts, the properties of new contact materials, and the performance of cells with contact layers such as amorphous silicon, tunnel oxides and polysilicon, and metal oxides. Abstracts concerning the deposition methods used to form these contacts are also welcome.

Sub-area 2.3: Device Physics, Simulation and New Characterization Techniques for Silicon-based solar cells

The sub-area focuses on understanding, quantifying, and modelling phenomena in silicon solar cells, including new interpretations of device physics, multi-dimensional models, numerical analysis of novel cell concepts, power loss measurement and mitigation strategies, computational simulations, and associated means of validation. Abstracts are also welcome on the development of new device characterization techniques, which may be based on, e.g., photoluminescence or capacitance measurements. This Sub-Area also covers light management within silicon solar cells and thin film silicon. Abstracts are also encouraged on surface engineering of silicon cells to increase photon absorption by classical, diffractive, Mie scattering and plasmonic mechanisms (regardless of whether the silicon absorber is thin), as well as approaches to reduce front-surface reflectance, reduce parasitic absorption, and reject sub-bandgap infrared light.

AREA 3: Perovskite and Organic Materials and Solar Cells

Sub-areas:
Sub-Area 3.1: Advancements of Perovskite Materials and Solar Cell Development
Sub-Area 3.2: Organic and Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Sub-Area 3.3: High Performance Hybrid Tandem/Multijunction Solar Cells


Area Description:
This focus area covers the latest scientific and technical progress of perovskite, organic, and hybrid solar cells. Organic and organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite materials are rising stars for solar cell and optoelectronic applications. Based on abundant materials and scalable coating technologies, these emerging PV technologies show potential for low-cost, lightweight, and flexible solar power generation and will soon have to prove their viability in the market with a promising combination of efficiency, stability, and in some cases environmental benignity at scale. Particularly noteworthy are the recent developments concerning the stability of halide perovskite-based solar cells, which result from intense research on material properties (composition, structure, etc.) and device layout (architecture, interfaces, etc.). Although the current state-of-the-art still has a long way to go in order to compete with commercialized solar cells, research on degradation mechanisms and improved cell stability reported in recent publications do suggest that long-term stability could be achievable. In addition, new types of perovskite materials are constantly being explored and developed with the aim of replacing lead (e.g. in double perovskite materials) or to increase film stability (by using mixed dimensional perovskites). Another important research trend is the development of fabrication technologies for high throughput fabrication (e.g. slot die coating, spray coating, soft cover technique, vacuum evaporation and chemical vapor deposition, etc.), which would pave the way towards high throughput large area perovskite solar cells and modules with minimal device-to-device variations and is therefore moving this technology closer to commercialization.

This area is ideal forum for researchers in the field to present their progress in the area of photovoltaic application and to exchange their views, discuss current challenges, and identify future research topics. The rapid development of organic and perovskite materials and devices in the past few years marks the strong foundation for this Area.

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 3.1: Advancements of Perovskite Materials and Solar Cell Development

Reaching a high level of reliability and durability is key to the continued development of perovskite solar cell technology. Hence, this sub-area is dedicated to the progress of perovskite solar cell stability concerning all device components, i.e. from the perovskite absorber layer to the various interlayers and contacts. Discussed topics thus include intrinsic and extrinsic degradation mechanisms, efficiency loss issues in perovskite photovoltaics, and strategies for improved stability. Work from a broad scope of research is welcome, ranging from fundamental studies on degradation processes at the nanoscale to industrial encapsulation strategies and durability testing.

With the growing demand for utility scale implementation of perovskite solar cell modules, this sub-area also includes the development of scale-up, large-area fabrication and processing, high-throughput, as well as environmentally friendly and green manufacturing technologies for large-area perovskite solar cells. This also covers, perovskite module design, module testing, fabrication techniques, process chain evaluation, and life cycle assessment.

The latest developments in organic-inorganic hybrid and fully inorganic halide perovskite based solar cells and the rapid progress in this material class for solar cells is welcome to be explored as power conversion efficiencies of perovskite solar cells are already comparable to those of established thin film technologies. The optoelectronic properties of the materials are highly tunable, making them attractive for a range of applications including building-integrated PV and tandem solar cells. We invite contributions to this sub-area to focus on the tunability offered by substitution of elemental and molecular components in the perovskite structure, which may enable better performance, new device architectures, design of interfaces in the layer stack, advances in fabrication routes, and novel processing steps.

Sub-area 3.2: Organic and Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

This sub-area focus extends to the progress on the development of pure organic solar cells and dye-sensitized solar cells, including material optimization, the use of fullerene and non-fullerene-based molecules, new charge transport materials and device designs. The sub-area will feature fundamental studies, as well as solar cell fabrication and testing. Hence, we welcome a broad range of submissions from first principles design and synthesis of new donor and acceptor materials, over methods of controlling and characterizing their microstructure in thin films, to finally device optimization, stability, and scalability.

Sub-area 3.3: High Performance Hybrid Tandem/Multijunction Solar Cells

This sub-area covers progress on the development of all-perovskite tandem and multijunction solar cells with the potential to reach power conversion efficiencies beyond the S-Q limit of single junction cells. The focus is on novel concepts, solar cell fabrication, device testing, and module implementation. We thus welcome contributions, which feature experimental and theoretical work on proof-of-concepts, device implementation, and the interplay between the various absorber films and interlayers in the cell layout.

This wide-reaching Sub-Area solicits papers regarding materials, structures, and devices based on combinations of different materials (III-Vs, silicon, chalcogenides, organics, perovskites, etc.) toward the production and characterization of “hybrid” multi-junction solar cells. The full range of integration methodologies are of interest, including but not limited to monolithic epitaxy and deposition, wafer/layer bonding, and mechanical stacking, as well as the characterization of these materials, structures, and devices, from the atomic scale to the device level (and beyond), as related to their hybrid nature. Abstracts on the theory and modeling of such devices are welcome, as is work related to new module and system architectures optimized for such hybrid cells.

AREA 4: PV Module and System Reliability in MENA region

Sub-areas:
Sub-Area 4.1: PV Materials and Module Durability and Accelerated Testing Methods
Sub-Area 4.2: Field Experiences in PV Systems; Reliability Characterizations: Lab and Field Inspection Techniques
Sub-Area 4.3: Effects and Mitigation of Soiling on PV Systems
Sub-Area 4.4: Module and System Reliability in the Circular Economy


Area Description:
Long-term durability, reliability of PV systems is critical for reliable and efficient energy production as the share of renewables increases in our energy mix. Moreover, the systems delivering the expected return on investment for all players along the value chain provide the industrial driver for continued growth. PV systems with long lifetimes are often deployed in harsh weather conditions such as those in the MENA region. This includes extreme temperatures in the summer months as well as high soiling and abrasion factors in areas within the Dust Belt which requires additional diligence for resilient system design utilizing new technologies (from PV, cell through module materials, components, and systems elements).
Long-lasting and reliable PV systems are also the foundation for an ecologically sustainable PV system, hence all studies proving their robustness in extensive testing before field deployment and rapid industry integration are welcome.

This area considers the reliability and resiliency of all types of PV systems and their components and technologies as well as impact of materials, processing, installation and operations throughout the value chain. Topics especially critical to the success of the PV industry include comprehensive reporting of field experiences and in depth understanding of physics/chemistry of degradation and challenges for current and next generation PV materials and technologies. This serves as a foundation for development of adapted accelerated tests, and the validation of those tests’ ability to correlate with outcomes in the field. Discussion of best practices in design, effect analysis, manufacturing, quality assurance and safety measures, as well as resiliency are within the interest of the area; as well as the latest development of science-based standards and test protocols. Submission of papers on detailed scientific research studies as well as visionary papers addressing the full range of these topics are invited.

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 4.1: PV Materials and Module Durability and Accelerated Testing Methods

Module and module components are subject to high temperatures, thermal cycling, humidity, ultraviolet light, electrical, and mechanical stresses. These can result in a variety of failure mechanisms such as glass corrosion, encapsulant browning, EVA yellowing, backsheet cracking, bubbling and delamination, interconnect fatigue and corrosion, frame corrosion and fatigue, bypass diode failure, junction box failure, and cable and connector failure and etc. Submissions are encouraged on experimental studies of the chemistry and physics of these or other module failure mechanisms, accelerated stress tests and method to extract acceleration factors, modelling of degradation and failure rates, interfacial and multi-scale module simulations considering MENA region conditions. Reports linking failure modes to material, module manufacturing, process parameters and insights in critical controls are invited. Studies of degradation rates in recently developed high performance modules using high efficiency mono, bifacial and/or tandem cells (PERx, n-type, HIT, IBC, TOPCon, large wafers/cells etc.), high density module designs (shingling, tiling, cut cells, close spacing, bifacial, large modules) and next generation module materials (AR-coatings, water-repellent or protective coatings, backsheets, encapsulants etc.) are of interest, as are studies demonstrating field-relevant accelerated testing. Studies presenting reliability of modules and materials for novel applications and conditions (lightweight, floating, tracked), and integrated PV solutions (BIPV, ViPV, IIPV) are of interest with preferentially MENA case studies to show necessary modifications or special additions for optimal performance.

Sub-area 4.2: Field Experiences in PV Systems; Reliability Characterizations: Lab and Field Inspection Techniques

This sub-area focuses on statistics of types of failures, data analysis techniques for field data for large-scale and small-scale systems, analysis of mechanisms of observed degradation and failures, electrical and mechanical impacts of failures, degradation rates models, safety and operational failures from PV systems, expected vs. actual field performance, and long-term operation models of PV plants. Submissions may include (but are not limited to) analysis of field observations from deployments of all PV technologies, methods of analysis of such data, experimental approach and energy yield predictions, best practices and technical/economic insights into operations and maintenance, and models or reviews that paint the big picture of what is happening in the real world. Papers studying PV system-level availability, in diverse climatic and site conditions spread across the MENA region, reliability related to extreme environmental events, mounting methods, and interactive effects are encouraged. Innovations in the field of system data analytics and remote failure detection are also of interest.

Early detection and diagnosis of PV failure modes and degradation mechanisms largely rely on advances in both field and laboratory (destructive and non-destructive) characterization techniques. This sub-area explicitly calls for papers presenting novel techniques, progress on deploying, as well as improved analysis and best practice, acquisition and interpretation of inspection data/measurements from existing (or emerging) field characterization techniques (I-V tracing, infrared imaging, electroluminescence imaging, UV fluorescence, etc. or a combination of these). Further to these, laboratory test/inspection methods tailored for fault detection in-situ characterization methods, sensors in correlation with accelerated reliability studies are relevant. Papers studying innovations in the fields of inspection data analytics and diagnostic algorithms for all types of installations presenting challenges and difficulties in the MENA region for remote failure detection and wide-area inspections for PV systems are also of interest for contributions in this sub-area.

Sub-area 4.3: Effects and Mitigation of Soiling on PV Systems

Soiling can be a major factor in PV power plant performance. This Sub-Area focuses on studies of soiling effects on PV systems, ground- and satellite-based forecasting of soiling rates, methods for evaluating such rates, cleaning solutions, materials for anti-soiling coatings, tests for anti-soiling coatings (both artificial soiling to test functionality and abrasion testing to test for durability). The Sub-Area also welcomes technical and/or economic studies with respect to soiling mitigation measures (cleaning, anti-soiling retrofit solutions, etc.) and their implementation within PV plant designs and O&M plans, modelling and predictability of soiling losses for different climate conditions and soiling composition, as well as studies on the fundamental physics of soiling dust growth and its modelling in PV installations. Case studies and mitigation techniques within the MENA region situated along the Dust Belt are welcome to shed the light on effects and performances of PV systems.

Sub-area 4.4: Module and System Reliability in the Circular Economy

Developing a circular economy for PV modules, components, and systems becomes increasingly important as deployments continue to grow. This area welcomes papers on how to define, quantify, and measure circularity for PV systems and components. Maximizing component and system useful life is one way to make PV more circular. This sub area encourages papers on how system reliability and resiliency affect circularity, and approaches to extending the useful life such as optimized O&M, repair, refurbishing, and repowering. Safety and performance testing of repaired or re-sold components and systems are critical and of strong interest. Developing circular supply chains reduces waste, and it may have significant benefits for a more resilient and diverse supply chain at all stages from initial manufacturing through operations. Submissions on reducing the number of feedstocks, repairable systems/components, use of recycled feedstocks or materials, supply chain resiliency, and backwards compatibility or spare parts are encouraged.

AREA 5: Solar Resource for PV and Forecasting

Sub-areas:
Sub-Area 5.1: Solar Resource – Characterization, Assessment and Variability Modelling
Sub-Area 5.2: Forecasting – Solar Resource or PV Power Output Accuracy & Uncertainties
Sub-Area 5.3/6.4: Advanced Resource Management – Towards 100% Renewable Electricity (Joint Area)


Area Description:
Solar resource measurement and forecasting are essential for evaluating technical and financial performance in PV applications, and uncertainties related to the solar resources contribute directly to uncertainties in economic viability. This research area covers technologies and methods to quantify and model solar irradiance with a particular focus on applications in the PV sector

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 5.1: Solar Resource – Characterization, Assessment and Variability Mode

Understanding the available solar resource is essential for technical and economic planning of a PV system. Technological advancements in characterizing and analyzing the available solar resource, as well as other relevant environmental factors, allows for improved PV modelling techniques and system optimization. In this sub-area, innovations in methodology of solar resource assessment, characterization, and variability modelling are covered. The main objective should be reducing PV efficiency loss and modelling uncertainty. We explicitly include analyses of all relevant factors for PV modelling, here – for example analyses of the solar spectrum, correlations between solar resource and temperature, impacts of humidity and aerosols, soiling rates, albedo measurement practices, as well as their impacts on PV system performance.

Sub-area 5.2: Forecasting – Solar Resource or PV Power Output Accuracy & Uncertainties

As PV panels generate increasing amounts of the world’s electricity, forecasting becomes ever more important. Highly accurate forecasting of the expected power output and its uncertainty is required for grid management and economic assessment. In this Sub-Area, all topics related to improvements in our ability to predict PV power output and solar resource are invited. We especially welcome contributions that highlight innovations in mathematical or artificial intelligence methodologies and studies that compare model uncertainties, uses of the probabilistic information, and skill scores.

Sub-area 5.3/6.4: Advanced Resource Management – Towards 100% Renewable Electricity (Joint Area)

PV installations are on the rise as continuous price reductions are leading to increased installation rates. Regions across the world are experiencing the impact of significant penetration from PV in their electrical networks and markets. In this sub-area, we want to address what technologies, concepts and policies are most beneficial in addressing the challenges of the energy transition. Regions across the world are experiencing the impact of significant PV penetration in their electrical networks and markets. Here, we will also cover questions on how the solar resource and system management can contribute to overcoming the integration challenges. We especially welcome inter-disciplinary studies here that address synergies between various PV systems and solar resources, energy storage, advanced transmission concepts, demand management systems and solar to fuel and other high embodied energy products.

AREA 6: Power Electronics and Grid Integration

Sub-areas:
Sub-Area 6.1: Power Converter Design, Modelling, and Control
Sub-Area 6.2: Ancillary Services, Grid Support Functionalities for Distribution System Operation and Control
Sub-Area 6.3: Reliability of Power Electronics and PV Effects on Grid Reliability
Sub-Area 6.4/5.3: Advanced Resource Management – Towards 100% Renewable Electricity (Joint Area)


Area Description:
As PV installations become more widespread, the demands on the power electronic converters designed to interface solar panels to the grid will continue to increase. Likewise, the rapid integration of massive levels of distributed PV penetrations motivates new challenges to managing grid operations. At the component level, advanced inverter functionality and energy storage will enhance grid stability to manage fast-changing phenomenon by using rapid response to control and stabilize the grid. Further, advanced topologies and controls will continue to improve power converter performance and reduce system cost. At the system level, the optimization and management of distributed PVs and other grid resources will continue to support the integration of large penetrations of renewables and enable more advanced grid services and support functionalities. The increasingly active nature of the power distribution systems will motivate new methods for microgrids and distribution grid operations requiring proactive management of the variables generation resources.
The power electronics and power systems community are encouraged to submit contributions addressing the full range of scientific and technical contributions to the field of PV integration into the grid.

Sub-area Description:
Sub-area 6.1: Power Converter Design, Modelling, and Control

New converter designs for DC-DC and inverter applications for PV energy conversion promise higher efficiency, improved power density, increased switching frequencies, and higher voltage operation. Emphasis is placed on novel circuit designs, magnetics, wide-bandgap semiconductor materials, and other innovations in component-level converter design. In addition, advanced power electronics controls at the individual converter level, multi-converter-based microgrids, and large PV power plants are crucial to accommodate fast dynamics, nonlinearities, and complex system interactions. This Sub-Area invites contributions on any facet of design, modelling and control of power electronics for PV converters, microgrids, and power systems. Results with circuit analysis, experimental validation, and field testing will be featured.

Sub-area 6.2: Ancillary Services, Grid Support Functionalities for Distribution System Operation and Control

Wide integration of distributed PV generation and fast-acting power converters introduce unprecedented variability and unpredictability on microgrids and distribution system operation. Also, microgrids offer an effective way of combining and controlling renewable energy sources, such as solar PVs, allowing operation in both islanded and grid-connected modes. However, to extract full advantages of integrating PV generators into these systems, adequate control techniques are required. This sub-area seeks papers that address problems arising from the integration of PV into distribution systems, including voltage and frequency regulation, optimization, power quality, stability, protection, PV sizing and placement, and other pertinent issues.
Advanced monitoring, optimization strategies, and the ancillary grid services that PV inverters can provide can play a key role in mitigating technical and economic challenges recently imposed on power grid operators. This sub-area solicits papers addressing aspects of grid integration related to advanced monitoring, optimization, inverter functionality possibly integrated with battery storage and other emergent technologies.

Sub-area 6.3: Reliability of Power Electronics and PV Effects on Grid Reliability

As the penetration level of PV systems in the power grid increases, correctly assessing the reliability of power converters and the effects of PV systems on the reliability of power grids for system-level analysis becomes crucial. At the equipment level, recent experiences show that the converters are frequent failure sources in many applications such as wind and PV systems, as their reliability strongly depends on the operating and climate conditions. Additionally, the number of electrical storage systems connected to PV systems is increasing and so also reliability of these systems becomes relevant. At the system level, the availability of the PV system should be included in the power system reliability model. This Sub-Area addresses reliability evaluation approaches and reliability metrics at the equipment level – dedicated to the PV power converters and storages – and at the system level – devoted to the reliability of power systems with PV generation.

Sub-Area 6.4/5.3: Advanced Resource Management – Towards 100% Renewable Electricity (Joint Area)

PV installations are on the rise as continuous price reductions are leading to increased installation rates. Regions across the world are experiencing the impact of significant penetration from PV in their electrical networks and markets. In this sub-area, we want to address what technologies, concepts and policies are most beneficial in addressing the challenges of the energy transition. Regions across the world are experiencing the impact of significant PV penetration in their electrical networks and markets. Here, we will also cover questions on how the solar resource and system management can contribute to overcoming the integration challenges. We especially welcome inter-disciplinary studies here that address synergies between various PV systems and solar resources, energy storage, advanced transmission concepts, demand management systems and solar to fuel and other high embodied energy products.
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