U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) Announces
Innovative Solar Energy Optimization Testkit to Provide Partners
with Critical Data for Enabling Cost-Effective PV Technology
Development and Deployment

U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) Announces
Innovative Solar Energy Optimization Testkit to Provide Partners
with Critical Data for Enabling Cost-Effective PV Technology
Development and Deployment

Friday, December 9, 2016 - 11:42
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New testkit announced at PVMC Annual Program Workshop at SUNY Polytechnic Institute where PVMC partners, the Department of Energy, and other stakeholders further defined solar energy’s future


Albany, NY – As part of the U.S. Department Of Energy’s (DOE) Sunshot Initiative and led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium announced a new set of evaluation capabilities for photovoltaic systems, aimed at providing unparalleled real-time data to industrial and academic partners. PVMC’s Solar Energy Optimization Testkit is able to obtain and provide actionable solar energy cost and PV performance information from PVMC test and consortium member sites to improve solar cells, components, modules, systems, and operations and maintenance protocols. The leading-edge service allows partners to avoid the costs associated with managing and maintaining their own individual test centers and instead leverage the consortium and SUNY Poly’s expertise. Concurrently, SUNY Poly students are able to gain experience learning about and using the Testkit as they prepare for a growing number of clean energy careers.

“We are excited to announce PVMC’s new Solar Energy Optimization Testkit as PVMC, in support of the Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative, continues to strongly support and provide an edge to its member companies and stakeholders through access to advanced facilities and know-how,” said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Chief Operating and Technology Officer of PVMC. “The Testkit not only provides unmatched data that partners can access to analyze ways to optimize their PV capabilities and costs, it is also a one-of-a-kind platform offering the future PV workforce at SUNY Poly a unique ability to gain critical insight into the ways in which PV technologies and their deployment can be made to be more competitive compared to current, less clean energy sources. We are thrilled that PVMC’s partners who utilize the Solar Energy Optimization Testkit will be able to better understand precisely where they can gain greater energy efficiency and control costs to provide the best product to their customers.”

PVMC’s Regional Test Center, Courtesy: PVMC

The PVMC Testkit can be applied to any currently deployed PV system and allows the PVMC to collect and model data and perform key measurements at the sites to validate predictive models. Array owners receive periodic performance reports that compare predicted versus actual performance to help identify where energy losses are occurring, embracing a data-driven approach to maximize cost effective operations and maintenance. Building upon the PVMC’s best practices and standards for optimizing solar energy technologies, the Testkit is able to further provide insight into the ways in which the potential of sensors, trackers, and other components can be realized. This information is monitored in real-time and sent to the PVMC’s central location at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex, where the data is time-stamped to the site weather stations, PV reference arrays, various sensors that monitor the solar radiation, the DC side of the inverters, and the module temperature. This allows careful study of the performance of these systems in real-world conditions, allowing companies to validate and improve their designs as the data is being monitored and analyzed by a team of leading PVMC and SUNY Poly research scientists who are able to provide partners with a detailed report that can offer a roadmap toward a more effective PV system.

This unique testing kit is available to companies that partner with PVMC, and is already being utilized by leading PV developers and component manufacturers. These services can be provided to members of the solar industry and individuals or companies with existing systems. The Testkit also allows users to better comprehend the impact of PV system variables, such as light conditions, tilt, and angle, through the use of unmatched hardware analysis and predictive software. The results are then made available through the PVMC’s proprietary data dashboard. Additionally, partners can also benefit from aggregated data on pre-competitive technologies to promote the further effectiveness of technologies being developed by PVMC partners.

Urs Schoop, Global Solar Energy’s Chief Technology Officer, said, “The U.S. PVMC is instrumental for the success of the solar industry. Global Solar Energy is thrilled to be able to count on the PVMC’s long standing experience and outstanding capabilities which allow Global Solar to move forward in a cost-effective manner and meet the demands of GSE’s ever growing customer base for flexible PV modules.”

Robert Cambell, SoloPower Systems’ President and CEO, said, "The U.S. PVMC offers world-class capabilities that not only enable us to optimize our product, but allow us to move forward decisively because we have the information we need to make the best decisions for the future, now. In addition to the services we have been able to utilize as a PVMC partner, the new Testkit is a powerful way in which SoloPower Systems can continue to lead the way in solar energy.”

Amy McDonough, LEED AP, Director of Project Development, New York, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. said, “PVMC is accelerating innovation by bridging the high-risk gap between great ideas and new product introduction. It is facilitating the development of PV through collaboration, education, training, and deployment.  We will accelerate the adoption of renewable energy through working with PVMC NY and using these proven methods.”

James Park, Application Engineering Manager, Solar Frontier, said, "Solar Frontier is excited to continue working with PVMC in support of advanced PV systems configurations. Their capabilities, such as the Solar Testkit, provide real world data for different application types that can be installed and tested that helps guide our product development and targeted markets for increased photovoltaic deployment opportunities in the US."

The new Testkit leverages PVMC’s resources and capabilities, and is inspired by SUNY Poly’s Zero Energy Nanotechnology building, a living laboratory that provides a test-bed for next-generation clean energy research. It also benefits from PVMC’s Prototype Demonstration Facility, based at SUNY Poly’s Solar Energy Development Center (SEDC), located in Halfmoon, New York, where the consortium can utilize time and motion installation studies to determine the impact of technologies on hardware and electrical labor, in addition to enabling electrical performance validation of PV technologies. Notably, SUNY Poly students are also able to gain real-world, clean energy-based skills through use of the PVMC’s Solar Energy Optimization Testkit.

PVMC, headquartered at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex, is an industry-led consortium for cooperative R&D among industry, university, and government partners to accelerate development, commercialization, manufacturing, field-testing, and deployment of next-generation solar PV and building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems. PVMC is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative and includes more than 50 participating members and partners.

The new Solar Energy Optimization Testkit was announced at the PVMC Annual Program Workshop, held December 7-8, 2016, at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex, and details were originally made available to PVMC’s partner organizations in attendance. The workshop focused on the best ways to spark industry-wide collaboration to advance PV technologies and deployment.


About PVMC. The U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), headquartered in New York State, is an industry-led consortium for cooperative R&D among industry, university, and government partners to accelerate the development, commercialization, manufacturing, field testing, and deployment of next-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) systems. Through our technology programs, advanced manufacturing development facilities, system demonstration, and reliability and testing capabilities, PVMC is a proving ground for innovative solar technologies and manufacturing processes, as well as PV product development and deployment. Further information about PVMC can be found at http://www.uspvmc.org.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute. SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany location and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica/Rome location. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $43 billion in high-tech investments and over 300 corporate partners. For information visit www.sunycnse.com and www.sunypoly.edu.

Media Contact: Steve Ference, Associate Vice President For Marketing and Communications­ (518) 956-7319 | sference@sunypoly.edu