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Device Performance

In the National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) at NREL, the Device Performance group performs current-voltage, quantum efficiency, and other measurements on a wide range of photovoltaic cell and module technologies—including commercial, developmental, and research samples—for scientists in the photovoltaic industry and at universities.

Our equipment and techniques are unparalleled, and the expertise of our current staff covers more than 190 person-years.

Capabilities

Our capabilities for measuring key performance parameters of solar cells and modules include the use of various solar simulators and tools to measure current-voltage and quantum efficiency. We also test flat-plate and concentrator modules on sun-tracking systems. In addition, we calibrate primary reference cells for the photovoltaic community, certify efficiencies, and support standards development.

Accreditation and Standards

We are accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation to ISO 17025 standards for calibration of primary and secondary reference cells and secondary modules. Measurements outside the scope of the ISO 17025 accreditation are accredited to ISO 9001 standards by Orion Registrar. We provide certified efficiency and other performance parameters to validate the entire range of photovoltaic technologies. We cooperate internationally through intercomparisons and technical interactions to provide the photovoltaic community with a path of traceability to standards. And we also help to develop consensus in U.S. and international photovoltaic standards by participating in ASTM and IEC standards groups.

Requesting Device Measurements

The NREL Photovoltaic (PV) Device Performance group is the United State's premier laboratory for testing the performance of PV cells and modules. We test devices of all types of PV technologies from around the world to ensure consistency and accuracy of PV performance measurements.

Whether you are a PV manufacturer, certification lab, research organization, university, or national laboratory, we welcome the opportunity to test your cells and modules and provide certified data on spectral responsivity, power, efficiency, and other current versus voltage performance parameters. Our calibration services are available to customers from any country in the world. We now provide a full-service website where you can specify your desired PV device performance calibration services, provide sample information, print out required forms, and pay for measurements. This online measurement request process combined with our rapid turnaround time of six week or less means you can get needed calibration results faster.

For more extensive collaborative research projects, nonstandard testing, long-term testing, and testing a large numbers of samples there are several options for working with us.

PV Device Performance Calibration Services

Register for an account to request a service.

Measurement Process and Helpful Resources

Check out our typical process and the best practices we follow to provide high-quality, unbiased, and trusted measurements. We also have answers to scommon questions relating to solar measurements, and you can explore our publications categorized according to relevant measurements-related topics.

Contact us to discuss our device performance capabilities and how they might help your PV technology objectives.