TUV Rheinland Group has joined forces with Arizona State University (ASU) to create TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC, the most comprehensive, sophisticated, state-of-the-art facility for testing and certification of solar energy equipment in the world.
This unique collaboration—a private venture—is based in Tempe, Arizona, USA. It combines the powerful reputation, technological sophistication, management expertise and international reach of TUV Rheinland—the global leader in independent testing and assessment services—with ASU's more than 50 years of research on solar energy and extensive solar testing know-how. ASU's Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory (PTL), established in 1992, has long been the only lab in the United States accredited for photovoltaic (PV) design qualification and type approval.
TUV Rheinland's collaboration will connect ASU's PTL facility to the company's global network. The new company substantially expands PTL's testing capabilities in both volume and scope by adding absolutely state-of-the-art test equipment and the capacity to test and certify PV panels and electrical components for Europe, Asia, and North America. PTL, in turn, provides TUV Rheinland with its university knowledge base, immediate entry to the U.S. solar testing market, and the lab's long experience testing PV panels in both simulated and real outdoor environments.
Further leveraging the industry impact of TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC is a collaboration between the new company and Arizona's largest electric provider, Arizona Public Service (APS). The utility will provide 5 acres of outdoor testing space at its renowned Solar Test and Research (STAR) Center for use by the venture to conduct outdoor endurance testing.
The STAR Center, a pioneering facility among U.S. public utilities, was established in 1985. It has earned an international reputation as a leader in the commercial development and proof of operation for emerging solar energy technologies including Dish-Stirling arrays, high concentration PV systems, and innovative solar tracking systems.
TUV Rheinland will be the principal investor in the new company and will develop a new facility near ASU's Tempe campus equipped with the latest, most advanced test technologies and equipment in the world. In addition to the venture's worldwide implications, the new testing facility is expected to produce local economic impacts by attracting solar energy manufacturers and entrepreneurs to Arizona, boosting the state's solar energy credentials, and increasing employment in the solar energy industry.