Task 18 will deal with off-grid electrical systems and edge-of-grid electrical systems which include photovoltaics.
Off-grid refers to electrical systems or grids which are remote from the main electrical grid. Often these grids are state owned or regulated electrical infrastructure. This is not to say that an off-grid system cannot be state owned or regulated, but that an off-grid system stands alone from the principal infrastructure of a, typically, state owned or regulated grid. Examples of an off-grid system include:
Edge-of-grid refers to areas where the main electrical grid may be unstable or not fit for purpose and the use of systems which include photovoltaics may serve as a solution. Edge-of-grid areas are often exposed to similar issues as off-grid areas with regards to reliability, resiliency and security and photovoltaics may provide part of the solution for these areas. Examples of edge-of-grid systems include :
Task 18 will dedicate the majority of its efforts to larger and more complex off-grid and edge-of-grid system issues. IEA PVPS Task 11 addressed many of the issues arising at the time for smaller off-grid systems, however the industry has moved significantly since the closure of Task 11:
The objective of Task 18 is to find the technical issues and barriers which affect the planning, financing, design, construction and operations and maintenance of off-grid and edge-of-grid systems, especially those which are common across nations, markets and system scale, and offer solutions, tools, guidelines and technical reports for free dissemination for those who might find benefit from them.
The issues that will be focused on with regard to off-grid and edge-of-grid photovoltaic system will centre on:
This activity will broadly research and summarise the significant innovation and increased sophistication of off-grid and edge-of-grid systems over the past 8 years (since the closing of Task 11). A particular focus will be given to:
The goal of this subtask is to reach a maximum level of task work product dissemination, to cooperate with Industry Associations, Consultancies, Academia and other industry participants and to tailor the workings of Task 18 in order to limit any redundancy with other groups and/or increase the value of Task 18 work output for other groups. Key groups for collaboration are other IEA PVPS Tasks, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Mission Innovation (a European Union initiative borne out of COP21)
This activity will distribute reports, models and tools through partner newsletters, workshops, webinars and presentations. The Task will also make use of social media group work platforms and communication platforms to achieve deliverables and foster engagement. The Task also has its own website which will be used as a repository for all meeting minutes, agendas, progress updates, etc. The IEA PVPS will, of course, be treated as the official repository of all finalised Task 18 work output