3M's renewable energy division has commissioned its outdoor Solar Weathering Center, located at 3M's Cottage Grove, Minn., facility. The outdoor Solar Weathering Center represents an expansion of the company's existing weathering facilities around the world, according to 3M.
The center will be used to conduct environmental testing of products used for the solar market. Its layout is tailored for side-by-side comparisons of solar energy systems utilizing a variety of 3M's products, including 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film, 3M Scotchshield Film Backsheets and 3M Solar Mirror Film. The company will install approximately 100 solar PV and concentrated photovoltaic modules at Cottage Grove in multiple arrangements.
The center will also feature parabolic troughs to test products used in concentrating solar power systems and includes plans to add testing capabilities for building-integrated photovoltaics in the future.