Black Photon Instruments Achieves Success with its Measurement Technology for Concentrating Systems

Fraunhofer ISE spin-off company presents products at the CPV Conference in Toledo

On Monday April 16, 2012 the 8th International Conference on

Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems (CPV-8) begins in the
Spanish city of Toledo. This is one of the most important events
in the branch. Black Photon Instruments, a spin-off company of
the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE will be
represented at the conference with its own exhibition stand for
the first time. Located at Booth No. 18, the company from
Freiburg will present measuring instruments and sensors to
improve the efficiency of concentrating photovoltaic systems.
With this specialization, Black Photon Instruments has
successfully entered one of the many market niches in the solar

Black Photon Instruments GmbH is a young start-up company
located in Freiburg, Germany. It manufactures measuring
instruments and sensors to, for example, measure the solar
spectrum or determine the tracking precision in concentrating
photovoltaic (CPV) systems. In CPV systems, sunlight is
concentrated onto small, highly efficient multi-junction solar
cells which are mounted on trackers to follow the sun
throughout the day. Two decisive parameters for optimum
operation are the efficient conversion of the incident solar
radiation into electricity and accurate solar tracking. At the
CPV-8 in Toledo, Black Photon Instruments presents first details
about its newly developed complete systems, which record and
evaluate both the meteorological data and system operating
data. The team of four representing Black Photon at CPV-8 will
also be giving oral presentations at the conference, among other topics on the spectral characteristics of the solar radiation

"With Black Photon Instruments GmbH, Fraunhofer ISE has
once again launched a spin-off company with great potential.
The founding idea behind the company is the further
development, production and marketing of spectral sensors
based on III-V component cells developed at Fraunhofer ISE,"
says Dr. Andreas Bett, Deputy Director of Fraunhofer ISE and
Division Director of Materials – Solar Cells and Technologies.
The solar spectrum can be analyzed using component cells. In
particular, one can determine how changes in the solar
spectrum due to weather and climate ultimately affect the CPV
power plant yield. Fraunhofer ISE has many years of R&D
experience in this field.

Positive Response: Measuring technology from Black
Photon Instruments establishes itself on the market

"We are delighted about the spin-off and its successful entry
into the international market. About two years after being
spun-off, Black Photon Instruments is standing on its own two
feet and is working for clients from Freiburg, Germany to
Colorado, USA," says Dr. Joachim Jaus, CEO of Black Photon
Instruments. After the company successfully started with the
manufacture and sales of spectral sensors, it expanded its
portfolio to develop high precision measurement devices to
determine the sun's position for use in CPV systems. The
measurement devices developed and manufactured by Black
Photon Instruments, record the tracker accuracy with extremely
high precision. As a result, the performance can be analyzed
with regard to any changes made on the tracker construction,
i. e. reducing the material thickness. The results and their
analyses are important factors for the further development of
trackers and for increasing the efficiency of CPV systems. Due
to its relevance, the measurement of tracking systems is also
the topic of a conference contribution by Black Photon
Instruments at the CPV-8.

Close Ties: Continued cooperation with Fraunhofer ISE
Today Black Photon Instruments and Fraunhofer ISE still
maintain a link. They have sealed a cooperative agreement and
are working intensively on the further development of spectral
sensors. At the end of 2011, Black Photon Instruments received
one of the sponsored projects from the German Environmental
Foundation (DBU) to develop new sensors for measuring the
spectral characteristics of global radiation. In close cooperation
with, among others, the CalLab PV Cells and the Concentrating
Technology and Evaluation Center (ConTEC) of Fraunhofer ISE,
calibrations and comparative measurements of PV module
performance as well as aging tests were performed.

Visit Black Photon Instruments from 16.–18. April 2012 at the
8th International Conference on Concentrating Photovoltaic
Systems CPV-8 in Toledo, Spain, Booth No. 18.

About Black Photon Instruments

Black Photon Instruments GmbH was founded as a spin-off of
Fraunhofer ISE in July 2010. The company focuses on the
development, production and marketing of measurement
technology used for the monitoring and operation of solar
power plants as well as research on solar radiation. Black
Photon Instruments GmbH is located in Freiburg, Germany and
has four employees at present. Dr. Joachim Jaus is the CEO. He
worked on this Ph.D. thesis at Fraunhofer ISE and the University
of Freiburg, and spent some time as a researcher at the
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE in
Boston, MA USA.

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