Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Solar PV Test Lab Opens in Albuquerque, New Mexico

On April 7th, 2011, a consortium of testing organizations announced that they will open a new solar photovoltaic (PV) testing laboratory in Albuquerque in the U.S. state of New Mexico.
The CFV Solar Test Laboratory will offer complete certification and non-certification PV testing services, including testing for flat panel, thin film and concentrating solar power (CPV) technologies.
"Solar panels are high-voltage electrical devices - often being placed in very close proximity to people in offices and homes - that must be properly tested and certified as being safe and effective in generating power," said Ash Sahi, president and CEO of the CSA Group, a part-owner of the facility.
"We are proud to be one of the partners in this joint venture as no other solar testing facility offers the complete range of services and global capabilities as this new laboratory."

Facility to Enable International Certifications
The companies state that the facility will help manufacturers to enter the market rapidly and at lower cost, and will be able to certify PV modules to the standards used in several nations.

The facility's 2,300 square meter indoor lab will include climate chambers for thermal cycling and humidity freeze up of modules to 4m x 2.5m, a large area AAA+ rated solar simulator with temperature controlled enclosure for performance measurements.
The testing center will also feature a 20,000 square meter outdoor testing area with single and two-axis trackers for accelerated light soaking and CPV testing.

Joint effort of CSA Group, VDE Testing and Fraunhofer Institutes
The facility will be jointly owned by the CSA Group (Toronto, Canada), the VDE Testing and Certification Institute (Offenbach, Germany), the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Freiburg, Germany), and the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.).
The organizations state that this joint venture combines Fraunhofer's technical expertise and extensive research capabilities with CSA Group and VDE's solar certification proficiency. 


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