Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced the expansion of its Photovoltaic (PV) Technology Center of Excellence to meet the growing demand for solar innovation, testing and certification. As the only accredited national certification body (NCB) for PV product testing in North America, UL is being pressured to expedite its service. This increase in capacity will allow UL to not only respond to existing industry demands but also to ensure testing capacity is available for the solar innovation that exists within the PV marketplace.

“As demonstrated by the influx in industry demand, the need for solar-module testing capacity is critical for the continued growth and success of the industry,” said Tom Kimbis, acting program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar program.

UL’s testing facility in San Jose, Calif., will undergo a 13,500-square-foot expansion to provide 35 percent more space to UL’s current PV testing operations. It also will include a 31 percent year-over-year increase in project capacity since the laboratory’s grand opening in July 2008. The expansion will house six more test chambers, bringing the total to 20, and will include an additional solar simulation room.

“The expansion of our current facility is necessary to help drive the innovation and future technological advancements within the solar marketplace and a demonstration of our dedication towards the renewable energy sector,” said Bill Colavecchio, vice president and general manager of UL’s Global Industrial Products Sector.