Wind and Solar

  • Overview +

    Wind turbines and solar energy systems such as photovoltaic and solar thermal must operate for decades, often in extremely harsh environments and with minimal maintenance. They, therefore, require extremely durable materials as well as testing to understand their service lifetimes under a variety of environmental conditions.

  • Atlas Solutions +

    Atlas provides a variety of outdoor natural, outdoor accelerated and laboratory artificial weathering test instruments and services for weather and corrosion durability testing. This includes:
    • Rotor blade coatings
    • Wind turbine nacelle tower and other structural element materials and protective coatings
    • Wire, cable and other polymeric components
    • Solar concentrating heliostat mirrors, CSP reflectors and lenses
    • Adhesives, sealants and other polymer construction materials
    • Corrosion of connectors, structural metals, mirrors

    Static and tracking solar concentrated outdoor exposure of material samples and solar products can be performed at Atlas’ benchmark sites in South Florida and the Arizona Sonoran Desert in the USA. Static exposures are also available at Atlas Chennai, India, and Bandol, France, sites, our Hoek van Holland North Sea and Florida Keys corrosion test centers or at any of the more than twenty affiliated sites in our Worldwide Exposure Network.

    Outdoor performance and durability testing of solar thermal devices such as hot water systems and photovoltaic modules and systems are primarily performed at Atlas’ Solar Test Center at our Arizona DSET Laboratories site. Accelerated outdoor testing using solar tracking and concentrating EMMA/EMMAQUA devices is also performed at the Arizona site as is research testing using the Ultra Accelerated Weathering System co-developed with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Atlas specializes is designing custom durability test to meet specific client requirements.

    Larger scale solar thermal laboratory testing can be performed with Atlas’ Custom Test Systems metal halide solar simulation luminaires. Large scale solar/weathering exposures can be performed in large solar/climate chambers at Atlas’ Arizona lab.

    Materials such as coatings and polymers are weather durability tested as test coupons or plaques in Atlas Ci-Series Weather-Ometers, SUNTEST or Xenotest xenon arc artificial accelerated weathering instruments. Corrosion resistance is tested in Atlas SF, BCX or CCX series salt fog/spray corrosion test chambers. Testing is typically to international standards, although custom test parameters are also used.

    Photovoltaic module materials such as backsheets and encapsulants are similarly tested, and full PV modules can be tested outdoors as well as in larger solar/environmental laboratory chambers at the Solar Test Center. Atlas has developed the proprietary Atlas 25+ PV Module Durability test program for assessing module durability resistance to environmental degradation.
  • Testing Standards +

    Standards relating specifically to materials and products used in solar and wind energy products and systems are now emerging, and most general materials weathering standards also are applicable. The following is a partial list only of some of the major standards. Please contact Atlas for the specific requirements and applicability of these standards, or for recommendations on applicable test methods.

    • ASTM D1435 Outdoor Weathering of Plastics
    • ASTM D4329 Operating Light- and Water-Exposure Apparatus (Fluorescent UV Condensation Type) for Exposure of Plastics
    • ASTM G85 Standard Practice for Modified Salt Spray (Fog) Testing
    • ASTM D4364 Performing Accelerated Outdoor Weathering of Plastics Using Concentrated Sunlight
    • ASTM G7 Atmospheric Environmental Exposure Testing of Nonmetallic Materials 1
    • ASTM G90 Performing Accelerated Outdoor Weathering of Nonmetallic Materials Using Concentrated Natural Sunlight
    • ASTM G151 Exposing Non-Metallic Materials in Accelerated Test Devices That Use Laboratory Light Sources
    • ASTM G152 Operating Open Flame Carbon-Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G153 Operating Enclosed Carbon-Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G154 Operating Fluorescent Light Apparatus of UV Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G155 Operating Xenon-Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM D1014 Conducting Exterior Exposure Tests of Paints on Steel
    • ASTM D5894 Standard Practice for Cyclic Salt Fog/UV Exposure of Painted Metal, (Alternating Exposures in a Fog/Dry Cabinet and a UV/Condensation Cabinet)
    • ASTM D6695 Standard Practice for Xenon-Arc Exposures of Paint and Related Coatings
    • DIN EN 60068-2-5 Environmental testing – Part 2-5: Test Sa: Simulated solar radiation at ground level and guidance for solar radiation testing
    • ISO 11341 Paints and Varnishes - Artificial Weathering and Exposure to Artificial Radiation - Exposure to Filtered Xenon-Arc Radiation
    • ISO 11997-2 Paints and varnishes - Determination of resistance to cyclic corrosion conditions - Part 2: Wet (salt fog)/dry/humidity/UV light
    • ISO 16474-1 Paints and varnishes - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 1: General guidance
    • ISO 16474-2 Paints and varnishes - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 2: Xenon-arc lamps
    • ISO 16474-3 Paints and varnishes - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 3: Fluorescent UV lamps
    • ISO 2810 Paint and Varnishes - Notes for Guidance on the Conduct of Natural Weathering Tests
    • ISO 4892-2 Exposure to Laboratory Light Sources – Xenon-arc Lamps
    • ISO 4892-3 Exposure to Laboratory Light Sources – Fluorescent UV Lamps
    • ISO 4892-4 Exposure to Laboratory Light Sources – Open Flame carbon-arc Lamps
    • ISO 877-1 Plastics-Methods of Exposure to Direct Weathering, to Weathering Using Glass-Filtered Daylight, and to Intensified Weathering by Daylight Using Fresnel Reflector
    • ISO 877-2 Direct weathering and exposure behind window glass
    • ISO 877-3 Intensified weathering using concentrated solar radiation
    • ISO/TS 19392-1 Paints and varnishes -- Coating systems for wind-turbine rotor blades -- Part 1: Minimum requirements and weathering
    • MIL 810G Solar Radiation (Sunshine) – Steady State for Prolonged Actinic Effects, Method 505.5, Procedure II
    • MIL-STD 810G Environmental engineering considerations and laboratory tests - Part 2: Laboratory test methods - 505.5: Solar radiation (Sunshine)
  • Education and Training +

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