The HelioVolt PV array installed at the Sandia RTC site. (Photo credit: Charles Robinson)

HelioVolt, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Florida Solar Energy Center are pleased to announce the successful grid connection of the first half of six arrays to be deployed at the U.S. Department of Energy
Regional Test Centers (RTCs).

HelioVolt is installing two 5 kW arrays at each of the following three RTC sites: New Mexico, Colorado, and Florida and is providing the modules, racks (shown in the photo), and inverters. The RTCs are providing the electrical infrastructure, monitoring equipment, and data monitoring and analysis. All systems are in place and running.

This effort furthers the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot program goals. The multiple-year program is focused on

  • creating industry standards for ‘bankability’ validation, which is critical to driving down the costs of PV 
  • providing field data to support fundamental studies of the physics of CIGS (copper-indium-gallium-

[di]selenide‐based) solar module reliability; and
  • demonstrating the energy harvest capabilities of HelioVolt CIGS modules in multiple environments and 
  • The comprehensive study covers many aspects of performance, reliability, and bankability. Factory audits, full module characterization, light-soak studies, system-level monitoring, and ongoing individual‐module sampling are part of the comprehensive analysis being conducted by the three RTCs.