WEDNESDAY 16 JANUARY, 2013 |
Australia To Have Its Own Solar Panel Rating System
The Clean Energy Council (CEC), Australian Solar Institute (ASI) and Australian Photovoltaic Association (APVA) have
partnered to develop a climate-based solar panel performance and module rating system.
Promotional blurbs for solar panels are usually based on performance under
Standard Testing Conditions (STC). Real-world conditions are often very
different and this will have a marked impact on panel performance. For example,
heat is a major enemy of solar modules and while two different panels might
perform exactly the same under Standard Testing Conditions; on a hot day their
performance can be poles apart.
"This project will produce a publicly available, high quality PV performance database containing location-specific technical, operational and performance data from representative locations across
Australia," says the CEC.
The project will be managed by APVA with funding from the CEC and ASI. Other participants
will include the US National Renewable Energy Laboratories, University of NSW, CAT Projects and Murdoch University.
Choosing a solar module may be more complex for many people than anticipated as
the technobabble associated with any solar panel can be very confusing for the
Last year, Energy Matters
a short video - Not
All Solar Panels Are Equal
- to help simplify selecting modules and to
highlight major points for consideration when choosing
Energy Matters says the most important points to bear in mind are:
1. Consider how the module is manufactured and the materials used.
2. Research how the panels perform in real world situations - including positive
tolerance, temperature co-efficient rating and efficiency.
3. Compare the warranty details of the solar panels you are considering.
4. Learn more about the company that manufactures the panels.
The topic is also covered in Energy Matters' free 23-page Solar
Power Consumer Guide
Other news for Wednesday 16 January, 2013
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services