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Stylized Text: SESRES: Task 1.

PV Module Rating, Testing, and Certification

FSEC received ISO accreditation from A2LA and PowerMark certification for PV module testing and performance certification in 2001. Facilities and equipment include an indoor flash simulator, automated multi-tracer, outdoor test stands, and portable IV test equipment.

Picture of FSEC's flash solar simulator.Currently, the SERES is conducting measurements and developing performance ratings on a number of commercially available crystalline and thin-film PV modules utilizing procedures approved as part of its accredited testing and certification program. Florida Statues 377.705 requires that all solar energy equipment manufactured or sold in Florida be certified by FSEC, however to date these certifications have only been officially conducted on solar thermal collectors and systems. As part of the SERES FY03 work, FSEC intends to seek administrative authorization from the state to enact additional certification requirements for PV modules beginning January 2004. As part of this task, FSEC will hold an open meeting for all module manufacturers to discuss these plans for a mandatory certification program, and allowing manufacturers to have their products tested and rated on a complimentary basis until the state requirements are officially enacted.

Technical Objectives:

  • Establish differences or consistency between manufacturer’s nameplate module ratings and ratings obtained through indoor simulator and outdoor IV measurements.
  • Develop and maintain on-line database of module test results, and provide results to industry and consumers for the basis of marketing, performance expectations and economic evaluations.
  • Validate measurements and ratings by round robin comparison testing with NREL, Sandia and ASU.
  • Maintain necessary requirements for ISO and PowerMark accreditation, including conducting regular calibrations and compliance audits with accrediting bodies, and maintaining research and event logs associated with all testing activities.

For more information on this program activity, see PV Module Certification page.