Analysis of a flexible measurement system for outdoor DC performance testing of photovoltaic modules

The Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) has been operating an outdoor measurement facility for testing photovoltaic (PV) modules since 1998. The facility is used to continuously measure the performance of a range of commercial and prototype modules, by scanning full I-V characteristics every ten minutes with synchronous measurements of ambient and module temperatures and broadband and spectral irradiance. The trend for increasingly high power PV modules and increased demand for channels has precipitated the next stage of development for the CREST system. This paper gives a technical description of the new system, followed by an appraisal of the performance of the upgraded measurement system. This encompasses commissioning and initial testing of the new system elements to quantify accuracy gains between the old and new versions.

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