Are the spectroradiometers used by the PV community ready to accurately measure the classification of solar simulators in a broader wavelength range?
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Latest trends in the photovoltaic sector see the use of innovative photovoltaic technologies with extended spectral responsivity ranging from 300 to 1200 nm for non-concentrating terrestrial applications, and to 1800 nm for concentrating PV and space applications. As a consequence, an update of the IEC 60904-9 standard is ongoing with a definition of new spectral ranges for the assessment of the spectral match. This poses new challenges to laboratories and research centers on whether or not they still are able to accurately measure the spectral mismatch of their sun simulator in the newly-defined spectral regions. Prior to that, there is a need to understand if the commercially available spectroradiometers are ready to extend their measurement range as prescribed by the forthcoming new standard. This paper analyses two options for an extension of the spectrum characterisation of solar simulators to 300–1200 nm and compares them in terms of spectral match of global normal irradiance (GNI) spectra acquired under natural sunlight by eight spectroradiometers during the 6th European Spectroradiometer Intercomparison. The acquired spectra are also compared in terms of an index of consistency of the spread of the measured spectra with the estimated measurement uncertainty, hereafter named as performance statisticsEn" role="presentation" style="display: inline-block; line-height: normal; font-size: 14.4px; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; position: relative;">En. Results show that all investigated laboratories assure the equivalence of the spectral match classification well below the 25% limit corresponding to class-A simulators. When considering the more stringent class-A+ corresponding to a 12.5% limit, one of the two considered options that rearranges the 300–1200 nm spectral range into 6 bands appears to still assure the equivalence of the class A+ limits among considered instruments. The En" role="presentation" style="display: inline-block; line-height: normal; font-size: 14.4px; word-spacing: normal; word-wrap: normal; white-space: nowrap; float: none; direction: ltr; max-width: none; max-height: none; min-width: 0px; min-height: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; position: relative;">Enperformance index analysis highlights some inconsistencies with the estimated measurement uncertainty or instrument drifts from the expected performance, and the need of further improvements in calibration, set up and measurement procedures.