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Renewable Energy & Advanced Power Electronics Research Lab
SETTL Outdoor Research Facility
The Solar Energy Technology Testing Laboratory (SETTL) is an outdoor research test facility for photovoltaic balance of systems, power electronics, and microgrid testing under construction at the RELLIS (formerly known as Riverside) Campus near College Station, Texas. This location provides over 40,000 square feet of outdoor test array area with flexible purpose to suite a variety of PV BOS testing requirements. A 4,000 square foot building adjacent to the outdoor test field is used to test indoor BOS equipment and is connected to the test field through a series of underground conduits to carry power and communications cables for power off-take and telemetry.
In addition, a previous project, supported by the United States Department of Energy and the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, developed a 27.6kW photovoltaic array on campus which was used to support the academic, research, and community outreach missions of the University. Comprised of five sub arrays (four leading string inverters and a microinverter system), the goal of this project is to understand the performance tradeoffs of PV systems constrained under built-environment requirements, such as visibility from the ground and building structural loading, which may necessitate sub-optimal design choices. The research-grade data is available for use in the research and teaching labs as well as on a website as part of the community outreach.