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Posted on March 29, 2010 by  & 

Project Brightfield compares emerging thin-film technologies

Emerging solar technologies will be evaluated against each other at the former Chevron refinery site in Bakersfield California where a solar test facility has now been installed.
The study called Project Brightfield will test the performance of six emerging thin-film technologies and one emerging crystalline-silicon photovoltaic technology provided by independent solar companies. As well as cost, the company will also look at durability and how the different technologies perform across a range of weather conditions.
The results will help to determine the potential application of renewable power at Chevron's other company-owned facilities.
"Project Brightfield represents one of the most comprehensive solar energy tests of its kind and is an innovative approach to evaluating new technologies," said Des King, president of Chevron Technology Ventures, the division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. that identifies, evaluates and demonstrates emerging technologies. "Testing competing technologies side by side means that we can better understand their potential application at other Chevron facilities."
7,700 solar panels on the 8-acre site will generate approximately 740 kW of electricity - this will be directed to the local utility grid as well as to Chevron's oil production operations at the Kern River Field.
The companies demonstrating their thin-film technologies are Abound Solar, MiaSolé, Schüco, Solar Frontier, Sharp, and Solibro, while the crystalline-silicon photovoltaic technology is provided by Innovalight.
Each solar company can access data about its technology, find out how well it performs in various conditions and compare it against a benchmark solar technology — a brand of commercially available solar photovoltaic technology — that has also been installed on the site.
Chevron is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. The company explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops the energy resources of the future.
Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif.
Reference: Chevron
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