solar research center

Southeastern Solar Research Center Opens

Southern Research Institute, in conjunction with the Electric Power Research Institute, commissioned and completed Alabama’s first solar research center. Located in Birmingham, the new Southeastern Solar Research Center (SSRC) has been designed to focus on the study of solar PV systems. The SSRC is the first solar research facility in the state of Alabama.

The facility was built in this specific location in order to study southeastern U.S. climatic effects such as high levels of heat and humidity on the performance of solar
photovoltaic systems in the region. Additionally, the solar research done at the SSRC aims to provide a better understanding of power output models so PV systems can be better deployed to meet base load energy requirements.

Data from the Southeastern Solar Research Center will provide key insights into PV system performance in the high heat, high humidity, high precipitation and high pollen environment typical of this area of the country. Data obtained from this facility may also be used to aid industries and individuals seeking alternative means for power generation with more environmentally friendly solutions.

The SSRC features multiple configurations of photovoltaic (PV) solar panel arrays, microinverters, and an advanced energy-monitoring system. This system includes trackers that follow the sun throughout the day as well as southwest-facing solar PV systems to evaluate the utilization of afternoon sun, when electricity use is generally higher.

In addition, the SSRC includes solar research for accelerated aging testing capabilities to simulate multi-year life and performance of PV systems. The site will also serve as a host of various research programs and other related initiatives.

The Southeastern Solar Research Center was honored as Project of the Year in My Green Birmingham’s 2014 Champion of Sustainability. Learn more here.

The Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit scientific research organization.

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