Konica Minolta Sensing Americas (KMSA) initially launched their Technology Test Drive Program this past July at InterSolar North America in San Francisco with the company recently advising that the program is available for all US-based commercial and R&D solar companies. The program originally sought to give educational institutions equipment like solar spectroradiometers for a one week evaluation period so that new PV industry technology could be tested by leading researchers in the industry.

"We at KMSA are very excited to offer this program to the commercial PV as well as the educational communities. Having a long and proven history in superior optics and light measurement technology, we feel that allowing users to experience and see the benefits of our products themselves is extremely important," said Lou Carulli, marketing manager for Konica Minolta Sensing Americas.

In 2010, the company debuted its new full line of PV measurement and characterization instruments for the US PV market. One of its measurement solutions is the AK series solar reference cells, which are products from a partnership by KMSA and The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The reference cells are used as a standard point of calibration so that measurements of PV cells can be conducted at a constant rate.

"Our reference cell is specifically designed to adjust the illumination of solar simulators to achieve standard test conditions. KMSA is proud to introduce to market a reference cell with superior spectral response over current technology," said Bryan Bond, photovoltaic business manager for Konica Minolta Sensing Americas.