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The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) says its 60 kW flat-plate solar photovoltaic demonstration project is now generating electricity at the Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) in Aurora, Colo.

Researchers are assessing the technologies' installation, commissioning, performance, reliability, and operations and maintenance requirements. Metrics such as anticipated versus actual production, daily and seasonal output profiles, cloud transients, reliability and other key parameters are being evaluated.

The test is the first of two demonstration projects to assess the performance of advanced solar generation technologies under actual operating conditions, EPRI explains. Over a two-year period, the project will test several conventional and advanced PV technologies, including modules from both U.S. and non-U.S. suppliers. A second project, focused on concentrating PV systems, will begin producing power in the near future.

"Evaluating PV system performance and reliability under real-world grid conditions should provide important insights about these technologies," says Cara Libby, EPRI solar research manager. "The results should provide power producers with information to assess several key aspects of advanced photovoltaic performance."



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