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Ground Mounted Solar PVs BRC Research Test Bed (Completed)


Implementation of the Solar Research Test Bed is an important part of the research scope of the Illinois Center for a Smarter Electric Grid (ICSEG).  ICSEG’s research mission is to support the continuing development of the Smart Grid through research that tests and validates the trustworthiness (secure, reliable, private, resilient) of new components and systems that will be required to realize the full potential of the Smart Grid, and renewable energy systems such as wind and solar are critical to realizing this vision.


The Solar Research Test Bed will allow ICSEG researchers to study in a controlled environment certain solar components, devices, and systems that underpin the performance of solar generation but may also be vulnerable to both natural and man-made forces that can compromise the trustworthiness of those systems.  ICSEG researchers will be able to identify those vulnerabilities and develop solutions to assure trustworthiness.  The Solar Research Test Bed will provide the research platform to test and validate these solutions before real-world commercial deployment on the Smart Grid.

The research results from this work will comprise a body of intellectual property (IP) that can find practical application through licensing and new venture creation in emerging, fast-growing markets for Smart Grid products and services.


Promote the integration of solar energy into the grid through research that supports enhanced security, reliability, and trustworthiness of solar systems in general.

Create a solar research test bed for data collection and testing at full scale:

  • Evaluation of various inverter and micro-inverter approaches
  • Experimentation with partial shading and degraded panel performance
  • Evaluation of intelligent, heterogeneous loads
  • Interface to AMI test bed, including bidirectional capability
  • Experimentation with load-generation control
  • Experimentation with dynamic control strategies with locally variable cloud cover.

Provide accessible instrumentation to allow visualization of performance data in real time over a secure web connection.

Website URL(s)

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Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    James Sims

    Project Leader:

    Scott Pickard


  • Started May 15, 2013
    Started by Tom Overbye
    Completed May 31, 2013


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