2.1.1 PV Modules

It is important to have both mono and polycrystalline modules from 150 watts up to 420 watts, depending on the scope of the course and related lab activities. (An excellent resource for UL-listed modules and inverters is www.gosolarcalifornia.org).

2.1.1.a. Crystalline Silicon Modules

Best Practices: The Series - #7: Photovoltaic Labs - 2.1.1.a. Crystalline Silicon Modules


  • Standard flat-plate, mono, and polycrystalline silicon PV modules, (both negative and positive grounded examples, when possible)
  • UL 1703/IEC 61730 and IEC 61215, CEC-approved nominal size modules, 150-420 Wdc @ STC (depending on lab exercise)
  • Module weight of ≤ 80 lbs. each

Suggested Quantity: 2 to 4 kW minimum required for system install (approximately 10 to 20 modules).

Importance Rating: Essential

Comments: The minimum number of modules needed is based on module specifications and inverter string input requirements. Other modules (as required) are based on the type and scope of projected lab activities.

2.1.1.b. Thin-Film Modules  


  • Thin-film PV modules (such as amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium, and gallium selenide)
  • UL 1703/IEC 61730 & IEC 61646, CEC-approved
  • Thin-film building-integrated PV (BIPV), as market trends dictate (First Solar, cadmium telluride technology, 14.4% efficient, is available for under $.70 per watt
  • Module weight of ≤ 50 lbs. each

Suggested Quantity:  2-4 modules, possibly of different cell materials

Importance RatingDesirable

Comments: Thin-film modules installation is becoming more widespread around the country, especially on large, utility-scale projects.

2.1.1.c. AC Modules

Best Practices: The Series - #7: Photovoltaic Labs - 2.1.1.c. AC Modules

Specifications: Convert DC to AC at the modules in a self-contained unit.

Importance Rating: Desirable

Comments: These would fall under the “optional purchase” category. However, AC modules are becoming more prevalent around the country. As AC modules become more mainstream, it will be increasingly important to have examples in an up-to-date PV lab.

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