DERlab announces new standard for outdoor testing of PV modules

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The European Distributed Energy Resources Laboratories (DERlab) have announced a new standard for the outdoor testing of PV modules. Research institutions from both Europe and the US agreed to adopt the draft of the new standard while at a workshop hosted by the International Solar Energy Society last week in Kassel, Germany. DERlab will accept comments about the standard until September 20, before publishing it at the start of October.

The standard aims to provide methods for rating the energy output of modules. Field tests will involve measuring the current and voltage output at the maximum power point for two modules connected in parallel, over a period of at least a year. The overall current-voltage characteristic will also be recorded, as well as the irradiation strength and temperatures of the modules.

“The demand for measurements under real conditions is increasing. We have reacted to this by developing this new standard”, said Prof. Nikos Hatziargyriou, the chairman of the DERlab workshop.

“With this new standard, DERlab creates uniform measuring procedures with which one can directly compare the energy yield of solar modules site-specifically in different locations and under the most varying of climatic conditions”, said Roland Bründlinger, the board chairman of DERlab. “While the IEC standards consider specially the performance of partial aspects of the solar power plants, it is our objective to characterize the entire system in the future as a whole. Thus we shortly plan to incorporate inverters in the testing as well.”

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