NREL evaluates system performance of photovoltaic (PV) products developed by companies under work sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. We also develop performance models for novel technologies and assess their impact and performance.
Tools and Capabilities
Single-Axis Tracking Bifacial Testbed
A 75-kW test field includes 10 rows of horizontal single-axis trackers for comparisons of bifacial and monofacial module technologies. Site albedo and rear POA sensors enable comparisons with new and existing bifacial performance models.
Behind-the-Meter Energy Storage Testbed
Indoor and outdoor battery systems coupled with PV enable comparisons of lifetime availability and degradation of residential-scale lithium ion systems. 30-kWh Vanadium-Redox flow batteries enable 4-hour energy storage for single-axis trackers.
This simulation tool supports research in innovative methods for increasing energy yield through reduced operating temperature.
These activities are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:
Performance Models and Standards for Bifacial PV Module Technologies
This effort is in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Iowa. Periodic research updates are available on Sandia's PVPMC website.
Regional Test Center Operations
This effort also supports other SuNLaMP, PREDICTS, and PVRD projects. This work is closely coordinated with the work of the International Photovoltaic Quality Assurance Task Force and the International Electrotechnical Commission to hasten the development and adoption of international standards and leverages the RTC facilities.