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Stylized Text: SERES: Task 3.

Inverter Testing and Performance Characterization

Picture of an inverter on the side of a residence.Presently, there are limited choices for small utility-interactive PV inverters in the US market, and the performance and overall reliability of this equipment has been less than satisfactory. To address these needs, and to promote the development of new products, the SERES will develop and implement a systems approach to inverter testing, which complements the interconnection and power quality issues addressed in testing at Sandia’s labs and at UL for product listings

The SERES continues to expand its efforts in utility-interactive PV inverter testing and performance characterizations, and works closely with manufacturers and Sandia in the evaluation and assessment of these products. Part of this task will include major upgrades to FSEC’s inverter laboratory and testing facilities – which will also serve as a new PV installer training facility and distributed generation laboratory.

Technical Objectives:

  • Identify key areas of performance and reliability improvement needed for utility-interactive PV inverters.
  • Develop test standards, report format and content for various inverter tests and results.
  • Characterize the DC-AC power conversion efficiency of inverters as a function of input and output load levels, temperature and other variables.
  • Characterize the performance of inverters under varying array input voltages within manufacturers nominal operating windows.
For more information on this program activity, see our Inverter Testing for PV Systems program.