Southwest Solar Technologies Inc. has entered into an agreement with Burns & McDonnell Engineering to research and test new solar technology at the Southwest Solar Research Park in Phoenix. Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services.
Burns & McDonnell is leading a collaboration with Abound Solar Inc., Suntech Power Holdings Ltd. and Power-One Inc. to install 3.5 kW photovoltaic test systems. The 3.5 kW installations will consist of three solar arrays configured with test instrumentation, with the primary objective to determine the effects of different types and amounts of cooling on the test arrays.
Additionally, the arrays will be adjustable so that the effects of varying tilt angles can be tested. Two different types of solar modules, – thin-film and crystalline silicon – will be compared to see their performance relative to different ambient conditions. Lastly, long-term performance data will be collected on both the modules and the inverters.