eIQ Energy, the developer of proprietary Parallel Solar power-management technology, has entered an agreement to be an industry partner in the Open Solar Outdoors Test Field (OSOTF), a Canadian research initiative that will create open-source data on real-world performance of a photovoltaic array under varying weather conditions.
The OSOTF, based at St. Lawrence College's Kingston, Ontario, campus, is a fully grid-connected test system. The performance of its 95 PV modules is being correlated with a wide range of meteorological measurements to provide new levels of insight into array operations, according to eIQ. The project is a partnership of the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Center at St. Lawrence College and the Applied Sustainability Group at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.
The array utilizes eIQ Energy's vBoost DC-to-DC converter modules rather than traditional series-string wiring. This approach provides researchers with the ability to isolate each individual module on the bus and identify its specific performance characteristics, the company says. Because each module operates independently of those around it, each can be measured on its individual merits.
Future experiments will explore novel system layouts, low-level concentration and the effects of spectral composition on solar cell performance. All data and analyses will be made available to the worldwide photovoltaic community and the general public.