Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
EPFL one of two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology. Achieving status of a national school in 1969, the young engineering school has grown in many dimensions, becoming one of the most famous European institutions of science and technology. Like its sister institution in Zurich, ETHZ, it has three core missions: training, research and technology transfer. The two Ecoles Polytechniques form the EPF domain, which is directly dependent of the Federal Department of Home Affairs. Since 1985, the Photovoltaics and Thin-Film Electronics Laboratory (PVLAB), one of the laboratories of the Microengineering institute of EPFL, has focused on the development of thin-film silicon solar cells as well as silicon heterojunctions. More recently it was also active in the development of solar modules focusing on building integration, reliability and lifetime, as well as energy conversion or energy production. In this context, the laboratory expanded its competence and expertise profile to system energy conversion including local storage as well as local energy management. As part of the local energy management, the laboratory is also taking into account the choice of photovoltaic technology, installation details, system dimensioning, conversion of electricity into other energy vectors and demand side management. The laboratory is operating test sites for solar cells and solar modules as well as for electricity storage, one of them comprising a DC microgrid. In recent years, the PVLAB has acquired extensive experience in the integration of renewable energy and especially photovoltaic energy sources into the electrical grid, mainly for households, SMEs and districts.