Measurement and analysis of annual solar spectra at different installation angles in central Europe

Guillermo A. Farias-Basulto, Miguel Sevillano-Bendezú, Maximilian Riedel, Mark Khenkin, Jan A. Töfflinger, Rutger Schlatmann, Reiner Klenk, Carolin Ulbrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The solar spectra in outdoor installations is very seldom equal to that under standard test conditions. This points to the importance of measuring, analyzing and understanding the implications of solar spectra variations with respect to the performance of solar cells. In this work, we present and analyze one year of sun spectra measured at two different angles in central Europe, where the spectrometers were installed at the optimum inclination angle and in vertical orientation, the latter being relevant for building integrated photovoltaics. We report for the first time the differences between the two inclination angles in terms of key performance indicators, such as average photon energy, blue fraction and spectral factor. Moreover, we show the impact of these spectral changes on the maximum current density of ideal single-junction and tandem devices in tilted and vertical orientations. Red-shifted solar spectra were more often found at the vertical installation in comparison to the optimum installation angle, which translated into up to 30% lower current-mismatch losses in idealized tandem devices throughout the year.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112175
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Installation angle
  • Outdoor
  • Performance
  • Photovoltaics
  • Solar cell
  • Solar spectra


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