At PV Lab Australia, we test solar panels. We have tested panels that are used in residential rooftop systems, panels from the largest solar farms in Australia and everything in between. So far we’ve tested panels used in over 2GW of solar plants across Australia. Testing panels is critical, in large farms it’s a standard as you might expect when purchasing something really big, like, say a power plant. It is no less important for the distributed power station that we as a country are building across the rooftops of Australia. Studies have shown that independent testing can increase power delivery for PV products by 3% on day 1. So here in the ACT, our testing laboratory could be responsible for a 3% increase in solar power across all of Australia. In a way, you could imagine that we are a virtual power plant, making a contribution of something like 165 MW per year. To date, we’ve built our business with a fairly lean business model including extremely generous support from the Research School of Physics at the ANU, who have housed us here. We are excited to be growing up and moving out of our first home and grateful to the ANU for the opportunity to exist and grow.
We are also extremely grateful to the ACT Government for this grant. The grant will allow us to realise Australia’s first ISO 17025 laboratory accredited for PV module testing. It will also be one of only a handful around the world. It will be a state-of-the-art facility enabling high-throughput in a high tech environment. To realise the project, we will be collaborating with SERIS at the National University of Singapore. SERIS are one of the world’s leading module testing facilities and our partnership with them will bring valuable knowledge and know-how into the ACT region. We’ll also be partnering with Dr Marco Ernst from the ANU and Stuart Butterworth, Jo Whitfield and their team from the CIT to enable education, training and eventual employment of students and professionals attracted to and/or retained locally.