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Regional Test Centers

Five Regional Test Centers (RTCs), established by the Department of Energy (DOE), are located in New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Vermont to demonstrate the bankability of new photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

Photo of the Regional Test Centers

The DOE Regional Test Centers help to validate PV technologies in a range of different climates. Pictured here is the New Mexico RTC for testing in a hot, dry climate.

The RTCs validate new solar technologies and systems configurations, demonstrating performance and reliability under field conditions over time. Managed by Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the goal is to demonstrate how a technology performs in a particular climate by:

  • Verifying that output power can be predicted accurately,
  • Quantifying system performance stability, and
  • Identifying climate-specific performance and reliability factors.

In turn, the performance analysis provided by the national laboratories supports the bankability of emerging technologies—thus helping to draw the investment dollars needed to bring innovation to the marketplace.

Read basic descriptions of each RTC:

In addition, a related research activity hosted at the RTC sites is the PV Lifetime Project. This R&D project investigates the degradation rates of common PV module types.