Solar America Board for Codes and Standards Publishes a Study Report on PV Module Power Rating Test Results

Las Cruces, N.M. – June 2, 2011 – The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) has recently published a study report that provides the results from two rounds of outdoor measurement testing, which addresses five tasks related to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) power and energy rating standard, IEC 61853-1, Irradiance and Temperature Performance Measurements and Power Rating.

This type of testing is important because manufacturers typically rate PV modules only at standard test conditions (STC). The STC rating involves only one temperature, one irradiance, and one sunlight spectrum. However, the actual energy production of field installed PV modules is a result of a wide range of operating temperatures, irradiances, and sunlight spectra. Therefore, there is an urgent need to characterize PV modules at different temperatures and irradiances to provide more comprehensive rating information. This report addresses the area within IEC 61853-1, which specifies the performance measurements of PV modules at 23 different sets of temperature and irradiance conditions, using either a solar simulator (indoor) or natural sunlight (outdoor). Validation of the current outdoor techniques for repeatability over time within the same laboratory and for reproducibility among multiple laboratories is extremely important for the successful implementation of this standard. "The Solar ABCs is pleased to provide this type of testing for the IEC Technical Committee 82 Working Group 2, who has been developing an appropriate power and energy rating standard that fosters quality PV manufacturing standards," said Mr. Larry Sherwood, Project Administrator, Solar ABCs.

The Solar ABCs study report entitled "Photovoltiac Module Power Rating per IEC 61853-1 Standard:  A Study Under Natural Sunlight" provides the major conclusions based on the two rounds of test results; a one-page summary and the full report can be found at:

About Solar ABCs

The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) is a collaborative effort among experts to formally gather and prioritize input from the broad spectrum of solar photovoltaic stakeholders including policy makers, manufacturers, installers, and consumers resulting in coordinated recommendations to codes and standards making bodies for existing and new solar technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy funds Solar ABCs as part of its commitment to facilitate widespread adoption of safe, reliable and cost-effective solar technologies. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Larry Sherwood, 303-413-8028,