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Call key data
Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 3: Sustainable, secure and competitive energy supply
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Proposals are expected to demonstrate technical solutions, processes and models, which increase a PV system's operational performance, stability and reliability. The introduction of novel PV technologies and novel PV system designs makes the need of increased field performance and reliability a continuous industry demand.
Photovoltaic power generation is pivotal in the transition to a clean energy system and the achievement of a climate-neutral economy. Its current contribution to global electricity demand is around 5% and is rapidly growing. PV already represents a share of more than 8% of the electricity generation in some EU Member States/Associated countries while penetration levels are expected to reach soon double-digit in Europe. It is within this scenario that the PV sector will ensure that the installed power capacity in GW can also reliably generate TWh of electricity for an extended lifetime.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Increase PV system performance, reliability, security and flexibility under various topology and operating conditions with enhanced digitalisation
- Increase utility-friendly integration of PV generation into the European energy system at high-penetration levels and the profitability of PV systems
More specifically, proposals are expected to:
- Demonstrate integrated multi-aspect sensing (optical, thermal, electrical) into PV modules to suppress degradation, detect unwanted operating conditions and avoid failures with emphasis on achieving high MWh/Wp (e.g. shade tolerant; more advanced electronic design with in-module components).
- Demonstrate smart control/tracking systems (e.g. coupled with real-time monitoring data, forecasting, EMS, etc.) for performance optimisation in specific PV applications (e.g. “self-protection” under extreme events in harsh environments like dust/snow storms).
- Demonstrate hybrid or integrated monitoring-diagnostic imagery solutions for maximum spatiotemporal granularity and diagnostic resolution. Multispectral imagery inspections linked with electrical signature, synchronisation of field techniques with monitoring.
- Apply edge AI and Big Data to improve the energy yield (advanced module control, self-reconfigurable topologies, etc.), module and plant models, monitoring and yield forecasting considering user behaviour and modelling of the entire electricity system including storage.
- Build large (time and scale-wise), wide (including not only yield but multisensory operational, thermal, mechanical and environmental data) and possibly publicly available datasets to enable, foster and empower AI for Digital PV at European scale.
- Demonstrate automated and predictive PV asset management software based on sensor-data-image fusion and/or AI / Machine learning techniques to reduce human effort and increase trustworthiness of current PV asset management software.
- Enable AI-based energy trading at plant level, taking care of specific climates /applications / conditions (snow, dust, environmental pollution, water…)/user behaviours.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project.
For the Technology Readiness Level (TRL), the following definitions apply:
- TRL 1 — Basic principles observed
- TRL 2 — Technology concept formulated
- TRL 3 — Experimental proof of concept
- TRL 4 — Technology validated in a lab
- TRL 5 — Technology validated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 6 — Technology demonstrated in a relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 7 — System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
- TRL 8 — System complete and qualified
- TRL 9 — Actual system proven in an operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies, or in space)
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.
Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.