NREL slashes the margin on photovoltaic panel measurements : Page 3 of 3

February 27, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Allen Anderberg (left), Steve Rummel, and Dean Levi of NREL's Cell and Module Performance group measure the power output of a PV module on NREL's solar simulator. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the US has reduced the uncertainty in measuring the power of a photovoltaic (PV) module to just  ±1.1%, the lowest in the world.
module can be used as its own reference module for the other tests. After the current is measured outdoors, the module is put into a simulator and the light level is set correctly.

"With each of these, we became the lowest uncertainty in the world when we attained those accreditations," said Levi. 

"A lot of the PV power we get is from huge utility-scale power plants they build out in the desert or out in the plains," he added. "Most of those are financed by banks, and banks don't like risk. If a bank perceives more risk in a project, they're going to charge a higher interest rate. And that interest rate directly impacts the cost of the power that project produces. If the banks have a higher confidence in the energy output, then they're going to charge a lower interest rate, and that's one of the major factors that DOE has identified as a pathway to reduce the cost of solar energy: To reduce the perceived risk by the investors."

www.nrel.gov.uk

 


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