PV Calibration Insights
The Photovoltaic (PV) Calibration Insights blog will provide updates on the testing done by the NREL PV Device Performance group.
This NREL research group measures the performance of any and all technologies and sizes of PV devices from around the world to ensure consistency and accuracy of PV performance measurements. NREL is the United State's premier laboratory for testing the performance of PV cells and modules.
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, whether you are a PV manufacturer, certification lab, research organization, university, or national laboratory.
Nov. 4, 2020
A new testbed enables NREL to quickly and non-destructively measure the spectral response of PV modules. This helps us to more accurately correct current-voltage measurements and quickly check modules for damaged cells. Continue reading
Dec. 5, 2019
To help researchers present technology-specific historical data on champion devices, we created technology-specific champion cell efficiency charts. These charts highlight specific technologies while putting them in context of the larger chart. An example detailing the best research-cell efficiencies for crystalline silicon cells is shown below. Continue reading
April 16, 2019
Better PV performance measurements can have a big impact. So how can we reduce the uncertainty in PV performance measurements? In 2015, NREL began to push the limits of reducing uncertainty with fundamental enhancements to the way it calibrates primary reference cells. The result was a major improvement in accuracy. Continue reading
Aug. 31, 2018
NREL’s PV Cell and Module Performance Group has reduced its turnaround time for PV cell and module testing to a maximum of six weeks. Learn how to request a measurement in this blog post. Continue reading
Jan. 29, 2018
To reliably calibrate the power of their modules, photovoltaic module manufacturers rely on calibration traceability to certified test laboratories. This reliable calibration, in turn, determines the selling price of the module. The financial impact of each additional 1% uncertainty in module power is up to $3.5 million USD for each 1 gigawatt of production at a module sales price of $0.35/watt.Continue reading