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RECENT ADVANCES IN OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF PV SYSTEMS
M. A. Quintana, D. L. King J. E. Cannon, J. R. Woodworth
W.E.B son, N. P. Adams D. E. E 8 e e Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, NM, 87185-5800

EG&G Special Projects Albuquerque Division

Abstract Sandia's Photovoltaic Techology Laboratory (PTEL) routinely performs outdoor tests of a variety of onesun and concentrator PV modules. O r e erience is u that while outdoor testing has its own set Zproblems, it can roduce results that are more directly applicable to "fiepd" conditions than testing in solar simulators. We have recent1 improved both the hardware and software at the &L to im rove our accuracy and to deal with the special set o?problems encountered in outdoor testing. Improvements in hardware include a computer-controlled solar tracker that allows us to test arrays up to 21 m2 in size; infrared imaging of modules; and electronic loads that allow us to test components with outputs up to 1,800 watts. Improvements i n software include real-time monitoring of data collection; a relational data base that has improved the reliability of test setups, operations and analyses; and a standardized reporting process that relates module performance to a number of environmental parameters.

variables, and decrease the cost and turn-around time involved with testing. Specifically, we have recently added 1) a new computer controlled tracker, 2) new electronic loads with the capability of testing components with outputs up to 1,800 watts, 3) an IR camera used to look at module hot spots, 4) a new data collection and analysis system and 5 ) a new standardized reporting format. These recent additions will be discussed in the sections that follow. Solar Trackers We have recently a d d e d t o the PTEL a n a azimuth/elevation solar tracker which w s originally built by ARC0 solar in 1985 and which was recently modified and refurbished by Advanced Thermal Systems (ATS).The tracker has an open...

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