Energy and Climate
EU PVSEC Parallel Event: PV Performance Analysis and Module Reliability, September 23 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This IEA PVPS Task 13 workshop will include presentations on PV Performance Analysis and Reliability research topics. Sandia’s Joshua Stein will speak on Novel PV Array Monitoring Stratigies.

Click here for details and information

40th IEEE PVSC Tutorials, June 7, 2014, Denver Colorado

Instructors: Cliff Hansen, Joshua Stein, and Dan Riley, Photovoltaic Modeling and Analysis Team, Sandia National Laboratories

Rob Andrews, Developer of PV_LIB for Python, Calama Consulting

This tutorial will provide attendees with a basic understanding of the modeling steps required to predict PV system performance from weather information. The series of modeling steps may include irradiance translation to plane-of-array, irradiance to DC energy conversion, DC to AC energy conversion, cell temperature estimation, and shading or reflection effects. Explanations of modeling procedures will be demonstrated using Sandia National Laboratories’ PV_LIB photovoltaic modeling toolboxes for MATLAB and Python; knowledge of MATLAB and Python programming is not required, but will be very useful in understanding the demonstrations.

Click here for details and information

2014 PV Systems Symposium, May 5 to May 7, 2014

Sandia and EPRI will host a technical symposium May 5 to May 7, 2014 in California

Symposium Events

        • PV Performance Modeling Workshop (3rd) (Biltmore Hotel, Santa Clara, CA) Monday May 5, 2014
        • Distribution Modeling Workshop (Biltmore Hotel, Santa Clara, CA) Tuesday May 6, 2014
        • PV Operations and Maintenance Workshop (EPRI Headquarters Palo Alto, CA) Wednesday May 7, 2014

Click here for details and information

39th IEEE PV Specialists Conference, June 16-21, 2013

2013 PV Systems Symposium, April 29 to May 2, 2013

Sandia and EPRI hosted a technical symposium April 29 to May 2, 2013 in California

Symposium Events

5th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources, December 3-7, 2012

Sandia participates in the 5th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources

The 5th edition of the Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources (IRED) conference took place in Berlin, Germany, on December 3-7, 2012.  This conference provided a unique forum for an interdisciplinary and international discussion on the policy, regulatory/market issues, and technical aspects of integrating solar, as well as other renewable and distributed resources, onto the grid.  Sandia National Laboratories co-chaired the conference, and organized several workshops on PV grid integration and smart grid.  View Conference proceedings here.  Proceedings for the previous edition of the conference can be accessed here.


Solar Power International Conference, September 10-13, 2012

Achieving High Penetrations of PV: Streamlining Interconnection and Managing Variability in a Utility Distribution System

Friday, Sept 14, 2012, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse ‐ Room 306A

This week at the Solar Power International Conference, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Electric Power Research Instisute (EPRI), Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have joined forces in a workshop that will focus on PV systems operating in the utility system, and it will review operational issues, update interconnection rules and regulatory actions, address PV lessons learned from high penetration scenarios, identify best practices for distributed generation problem mitigation, discuss technology advancements including advanced inverters, consider forecasting tools for grid operators, and review case studies of industry experience. The workshop will address areas of common interest and is designed for PV developers, system integrators, utility distribution and interconnection engineers, inverter manufacturers, forecast providers, and those who work in codes, standards and regulation.


High Penetration PV Grid Integration Workshop, April 19, 2012

Utility Solar Conference (USC) 2012 High Penetration PV Grid Integration Workshop

April 19, 2012, Tucson, Arizona

Sandia National Laboratories joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)  in conducting the High Penetration PV Grid Integration Workshop. The workshop brought together PV industry leaders to focus on key issues that utilities are facing with high penetration of distributed solar. Attendees reviewed and discussed the latest research in high penetration PV, integration standards, and the utilities’ efforts in distributed PV integration.

For additional information on USC 2012, visit

Renewable Energy Integration Course, July 26, 2011

Renewable Energy Integration Course

July 26, 2011, University of Vermont

Experts from Sandia National Laboratories taught a Renewable Energy Integration Course at the University of Vermont in July 2011.  The one-day course was designed to give representatives from utilities and energy technology companies as well as graduate-level students a snapshot of the current energy infrastructure, the potential effects from integration of renewable energy technologies, and the advances which will allow renewables to interact with smart grid architecture.  Presentations are available below.

The course is part of a partnership recently formed between Sandia and the university.  The collaboration is intended to enhance multidisciplinary education and workforce development appropriate for a smart electricity infrastructure sector; promote research collaborations to further smart grid deployment; and form liaisons with private and public stakeholders to encourage information sharing, technology transfer and job growth in the electric power sector.

For more about additional related courses and the Sandia-U partnership, visit

Utility-Scale Grid-Tied PV Inverter Reliability Workshop, January 27-28, 2011

Utility-Scale Grid-Tied PV Inverter Reliability Workshop

January 27 and 28, 2011, Albuquerque, NM

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories recently hosted a workshop to discuss photovoltaic (PV) inverter reliability at the utility scale.  Attendees included inverter manufacturers, integrators, utilities, independent engineers, and national laboratory and academic researchers.

The goals of this workshop included:

      • Examining the perceived and actual reliability of large (100 kW+) utility-scale grid-tied PV inverters
      • Evaluating current codes and standards in the industry and identifying a path forward for additional or revised codes and standards
      • Identifying reliability implications for installed systems
      • Defining opportunities to enhance how reliability is addressed by inverter manufacturers
      • Discussing reliability best practices and potential technology advances to enhance reliability

These objectives are aligned to advance the industry-wide goal of making PV a significant part of the U.S. electricity generation portfolio and to support DOE’s missions to mitigate risk, reduce Levelized Cost of Energy, and improve the appeal of solar energy systems by quantifying connections among initial cost and performance, long-term reliability, and O&M.

The workshop was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Program.

Presentations and the agenda from the workshop are available as Adobe PDFs below.  To obtain Adobe Reader, click here.

Thursday, January 27

Friday, January 28

      • Welcome and Recap of Day One: Stan Atcitty, Sandia
      • Results of Second Survey: Led by Bryan Pai, SRA International
      • Existing Codes and Standards (Summary):Greg Ball, BEW Engineering (1.2 MB)
      • Overview of UL 1741: Tim Zgonena, Underwriters Laboratories (561 KB)
      • ALT/Acceleration Factors: Rob Sorensen, Sandia (1.7 KB)
      • Facilitated Discussion – Codes and Standards: Led by Bryan Pai, SRA International
      • Technology Advances to Improve Reliability:   Diganta Das, CALCE University of Maryland (1.3 MB)
      • Facilitated Discussion – Technology Advances: Led by Bryan Pai, SRA International
      • Facilitated Discussion – Wrap-up : Led by Bryan Pai, SRA International
        • Action Items- DOE/Sandia/Attendees/Industry
      • Tour of Sandia’s Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory

The 4th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources, December 6-10, 2010

The 4th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resourses

December 6-10, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sandia and EPRI hosted the 4th International Conference on Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources December 6-10, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.  This prestigious event was jointly organized by the Electric Power Research Institute, Sandia National Laboratories and Natural Resources Canada. Sandia led the Scientific Committee, responsible for arranging the conference agenda.

This bi-annual international conference brought together North American, Asian, and European leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of renewable energy (RE) and distributed energy resources (DER) integration. Discussions focused on technical, market, and regulatory issues that challenge the integration of distributed and renewable energy resources into the electric grid.

Conference presentations, posters, and workshop materials are available electronically:

To obtain Adobe Reader, click here.

PV Performance Modeling Workshop, September 22-23, 2010

PV Performance Modeling Workshop

September 22 and 23, 2010, Albuquerque, NM

Sandia National Laboratories hosted a workshop to discuss photovoltaic (PV) performance models.  Research has demonstrated that models are not consistent in performance projections, especially for technologies other than crystalline silicon, and that there is a general lack of public data comparing modeled to measured performance.  This has a direct effect on the PV market, where those involved in purchasing or financing PV systems face uncertainty regarding expected performance and may make decisions based on inaccurate results.

Specific objectives of the workshop were to review the current state-of-the-art in PV performance modeling, perform a comparison of PV performance models, including comparison to measured data, and discuss next steps to improve model accuracy and appropriate application.  Participants included PV manufacturers, integrators, independent engineers, modelers, researchers, consultants, and analysts, as well as representatives from universities, government, and national laboratories.

The workshop was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Presentations and the agenda from the workshop are available as Adobe PDFs below.  To obtain Adobe Reader, click here.

Wednesday, September 22

Thursday, September 23

35th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC), June 21-25, 2010

IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 35

Sandia researchers recently participated in the 35th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference hosted by IEEE in Honolulu, Hawai’i.  This annual conference provides an opportunity for PV experts to discuss pioneering research on all aspects of materials, devices, systems, and applications relevant to PV.  Technical topics discussed at PVSC 35 included novel materials and devices, thin-film cells made from CIGS and CdTe and emerging semiconductors, crystalline and amorphous silicon, III-V cells, concentrator devices and systems, and module and system experience including reliability studies.




35th IEEE PVSC Lana’i La Ola Addendum, June 2010

IEEE PVSC Lana’i La Ola Addendum

June 25-26th, 2010

La Ola is a single-site 1.2 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm located on the island of Lana’i, Hawaii.  The site is a pioneering high-penetration grid-tied PV and includes use of cutting-edge smart grid communications and controls that are being evaluated by Sandia researchers.  The site will include a wind farm once complete.  An opportunity to tour La Ola was offered as an addendum event at IEEE’s Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in 2010 and included summary presentations (available below) detailing the site’s technical accomplishments, daily operation, and future plans.

La Ola is part of the “Lana’i 100% Renewables” project of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership of the state of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy.


PV System Integrators Workshop, March 2010

PV System Integrators Workshop

March 31 and April 1, 2010, San Jose, CA

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Sandia National Laboratories hosted a workshop specifically for PV system integrators in 2010.  The goal was to discuss ways to mitigate risk and improve appeal of solar energy by quantifying the connection between long-term reliability and operations and maintenance costs, service contracts, warranties, call-backs, and other integrator functions.

During the workshop, integrators from a variety of companies utilized their expertise and experience in interactive case studies and exercises.  The results of the workshop will help DOE and national laboratory staff foster development of performance and system lifetime models aimed specifically at integrator needs.  Based on participant feedback, discussions and models created following the workshop may address factors such as financing, PPAs, site assessment, education, component testing and monitoring, system design, and California’s 10-year warranty requirement.

This workshop was funded by DOE in support of its goal to achieve a competitive Levelized Cost of Energy for PV systems.

To obtain Abode Reader, click here.

Meeting Topics

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