Managed by Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the RTCs are predicated on technical excellence. To ensure consistency across the five RTC sites, the RTC team has designed state-of the-art monitoring and data-acquisition systems. In addition, each site has an identically configured meteorological station (see details below.)
With these systems, the RTCs can predict and verify the power output of a PV or CPV system (based on the technology as well as the climate in which it is tested) and provide the data a manufacturer needs to affirm performance.
RTC Monitoring System
- Current shunts to measure the DC current of each string.
- Resistive voltage divider to measure DC voltage of each system.
- Active, Reactive, and Apparent AC Power
- Power Factor
- Line-to-line and line-to neutral voltage for all three phases
- Line currents for all three phases and neutral
- Thermocouples measure back-of-module temperatures (OMEGA SA1)
Plane-of-array irradiance sensors
- Reference Cells
|Basic RTC Monitoring Equipment
|CR Magnetics Model 189
|Electro Industries, model: Shark100T–60-10-V4-D2-485P-DIN
|Kipp & Zonen, CMP11
|Reference irradiance sensors
|EETS Model RC
RTC Meteorological Station
|RTC Met Station Instrumentation
|Aluma Tower Co, Inc.
|Irradiance SensorsDirect NormalGlobal horizontalDiffuse horizontal
|Kipp & ZonenKipp & ZonenEppley
|CMP 22CHP 18-48
|PS Solar Tracker
|Kipp & Zonen
|Barometric Pressure Sensor
|PTB110 or CS106
|Humidity and temperature
|Met One Instruments
The data transfer process is described in the following SAND Report: The Regional Test Center Data Transfer System (556836 downloads)