Sandia National Labs Partners With TUV Rheinland On PV Testing

Solar and photovoltaic testing service TUV Rheinland PTL LLC has won a two-phase, 16-month photovoltaic module testing and analysis contract with Sandia National Laboratories.

Sandia is one of two U.S. Department of Energy labs involved in PV research and development. Over an 11-year period, Sandia developed a test method called the Sandia Photovoltaic Array Performance Model.

The contract provides Sandia a third-party, commercial resource to carry out its proprietary PV testing method. Once trained in this method, TUV Rheinland will provide extensive commercial testing services using the Sandia method and maintain a Web-based public database.

The Sandia contract will be implemented in two phases, TUV Rheinland says. In Phase 1, TUV Rheinland will develop and improve PV module testing and analysis capabilities according to the Sandia Photovoltaic Array Performance Model. This step will involve a build-up of its hardware and software, employee training, and documentation of quality standards.

Phase 2 will include a test and analysis of commercially available modules according to the Sandia model and a standardized report on each for entry into a database. The contract is currently scheduled to run through September 2010.



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