TÜV Rheinland PTL has won a photovoltaic module testing and analysis contract with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories. The agreement makes TÜV Rheinland an industry partner of Sandia, allowing the company to learn and share the labs’ PV testing and analysis expertise.
Sandia developed a test method called the Sandia Photovoltaic Array Performance Model over an 11-year period. The model is sought after by PV manufacturers and system integrators because of its accuracy and quality.
The agreement will provide Sandia with a third-party commercial resource to carry out its PV
testing method. Once trained in this technique, Tempe, AZ-based TÜV Rheinland PTL will offer extensive commercial testing services using the labs’ method and maintain a Web-based public database.
The contract will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will allow TÜV Rheinland PTL to
develop and improve its PV module testing and analysis capabilities according to the Sandia method and will involve involve a build-up of its hardware and software, employee training, and documentation of quality standards.
The second phase will include a test and analysis of commercially available modules according to the Sandia model and a standardized report on each for inclusion into the database.
The 16-month contract will run through September 2010.