Standardization News

Photovoltaic Non-Concentrator Systems

A new ASTM International standard will simplify the process of photovoltaic system acceptance and help reduce the cost associated with negotiating a PV system purchase. E2848, Test Method for Reporting Photovoltaic Non-Concentrator System Performance, is being developed by Subcommittee E44.09 on Photovoltaic Electric Power Conversion, part of ASTM International Committee E44 on Solar, Geothermal and Other Alternative Energy Sources.

According to Adrianne Kimber, director, performance and prediction, First Solar Inc., and an E44 member, E2848 will serve two primary functions, the first being PV system acceptance.

"When a system developer sells a PV system, they aggregate many different components into a custom-built system," says Kimber. "When the construction is complete, the system owner needs some method of judging whether this complex, custom-built system will do what the developer said it would do." E2848 will outline a test method that can be used to determine a PV system's power production capacity compared to agreed-upon specifications.

In addition, the test contained in the standard will serve as a useful means of tracking PV system performance over time.

"This test can be run periodically throughout the course of a PV system's life to accurately track the long-term change in the performance of the system," Kimber notes.

PV system developers and purchasers are encouraged to join in the standards developing activities of E44.09.

CONTACT Technical Information: Adrianne Kimber, First Solar • Oakland, Calif. • Phone: 650-274-9474 O ASTM Staff: Christine DeJong • Phone: 610-832-9736 O Upcoming Meeting: June 27-28 • In conjunction with D02 June meeting • San Francisco, Calif.

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