Tucson, 4. June 2010 - SOLON Corporation, one of the largest crystalline silicon solar manufacturers in the U.S. and a provider of turnkey solar power plants, today unveiled its state of the art Global Test Site (GTS) Network. Consisting of three identical outdoor proving grounds located in Tucson, Arizona, San Pietro, Italy, and Berlin, Germany, the GTS Network gives SOLON the unique ability to test and understand regional affects on PV modules and related technologies to optimize module and system design.
Regional factors such as temperature, humidity, wind, snow, and dust can significantly affect the performance of solar PV modules. For example, one module type may work well in a warm weather climate like Arizona on a single-axis tracker, whereas, another may perform better in cooler regions, such as Maine, on a fixed-tilt mounting system. At the landmark solar test facilities, SOLON has the ability to study various areas of performance on four platforms: fixed-tilt at 0 degrees, fixed-tilt at latitude, single-axis tracking, and dual-axis tracking.
A custom Data Acquisition System (DAS) is used to measure voltage and current before and after the inverter, as well as cell temperature, ambient temperature, irradiance (direct and diffuse), wind speed, and humidity. This data is stored on a central server which allows SOLON scientists from around the world to access and analyze the performance of the modules at all three facilities.
“As photovoltaic companies engage in a maturing global market, it has become clear that different regions demand different solutions,” said Lars Podlowski, Chief Technology Officer, SOLON SE. “SOLON’s global test sites empower us to better understand the underlying characteristics of PV modules and systems, which is key to providing our customers with greater overall efficiency, and ultimately a lower levelized cost of energy. These three sites are a first of their kind in the industry, and reflect SOLON’s innovative approach to intelligent solar solutions, which drive the company’s unprecedented level of performance and reliability.”
The GTS Network also allows SOLON to test innovative technologies from potential partners, keeping in alignment with its corporate commitment to R&D. One example currently being tested is Solaria’s optical concentration technology.
“Advances in solar technologies must be tested and validated before they are widely adopted,” said Daniel Shugar, CEO of Solaria Corporation. “We’re very pleased that SOLON has developed such impressive testing capabilities, and even more pleased that SOLON is using them to prove the performance and robustness of our new Solaria modules.”
Source: SOLON SE