Could the Experience of a Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory be of any Help to the World of Sensors?
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Sensors should exhibit many different characteristics which have to be provided all along their life time and that requires extensive experimental activity. But the world of sensors is very wide, covering different kind of materials and mechanisms of transduction, with a large variety of types and applications and it is hard to find either Standards or technical Specifications or Protocols these devices shall be complying to. As a consequence it is no one way for classifying sensors, to categorize them and to find either Standards or Technical Specifications suitable for all the sensors. So there are traditional sensors that must comply with applicable Standards (for instance the ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, such sensors) but other more innovative devices where Standards and Technical specifications can be hardly found. Laboratory PVSMART of CR ENEA in Portici, near Naples (I), has been active for so many years for quality and reliability of photovoltaic devices such as solar cells and modules and owns a very deep experience on laboratory artificial ageing processes and compliance to Standards. Although the field could seem quite different, nevertheless this competence might be useful for the world of sensors; in that way in the past the laboratory has already provided technical support to some customer by testing specific detectors. In this paper, the experience of this investigation is summarized and the potentials for a more general use is then proposed.