2.0 Photovoltaic Laboratory Equipment
This section begins with consideration of all of the photovoltaic-specific components that are part of a complete PV system (see table below). Major electrical components include PV modules, inverters, batteries, charge controllers, and generators. Electrical and mechanical BOS components and hardware are also included.
Importance ratings have arbitrarily been assigned for each component based on observations of highly functional PV training facilities that have been in operation for many years. Rather than place too much emphasis on these ratings, faculty and lab developers are encouraged to set equipment priorities based on the educational objectives and desired outcomes for their particular courses and programs.
Note: It is strongly emphasized that listed examples of possible manufacturers and/or suppliers do not in any way constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Rather, readers are strongly encouraged to use Internet search engines to identify manufacturers and suppliers of the equipment listed. For most products, numerous options will be found.
|PV SYSTEM COMPONENTS||IMPORTANCE RATING|
|PV Modules||Crystalline silicon modules – both mono and polycrystalline||Essential|
|Inverters||Residential string inverters – including integrated and transformerless inverters||Essential|
|Residential battery-based inverters||Desirable|
|Small commercial grid-tied Inverters||Advanced|
|Medium commercial grid-tied inverters||Advanced|
|Batteries and Power Processing Hardware||Flooded lead-acid batteries||Desirable|
|Valve-regulated lead-acid batteries||Desirable|
|Electrical Balance-of-System Hardware||Electrical service equipment||Essential|
|PV array combiner boxes||Essential|
|Fuses and breakers||Essential|
|Miscellaneous electrical BOS hardware||As required|
|Conductors and Wiring Hardware||Module interconnect cables and connectors||Essential|
|Terminals and connectors||As required|
|PV wire and cable||Essential|
|Conduit and benders||Advanced|
|Mechanical and Structural Hardware||Array mounting hardware||Essential|
|Flashings and supports||Essential|
|Miscellaneous mounting hardware||Essential|