TUV Rheinland Group and Arizona State University Launch Global Leader in State-of-the-Art...

Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:45pm EST

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TUV Rheinland Group and Arizona State University Launch Global Leader in
State-of-the-Art Solar Testing and Certification

TUV Rheinland Group and Arizona State University (ASU) celebrate the launch of
TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC, the world's most comprehensive and sophisticated
facility for testing and certification of solar energy equipment

PHOENIX, TEMPE, Ariz., NEWTOWN, Conn., YOKOHAMA, Japan, COLOGNE, Germany and
SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- TUV Rheinland Group and Arizona State
University (ASU) are celebrating the launch of the much anticipated new
clean-tech venture, TUV Rheinland PTL, LLC, the world's most comprehensive and
sophisticated facility for testing and certification of solar energy
equipment. The celebration will expand with more events to come in Cologne and
Shanghai featuring dignitaries from business, government, academia, and the
solar industry.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090116/LA59928)

TUV Rheinland PTL, a new private venture, significantly upgrades the
technology and know-how of the former ASU Photovoltaic Laboratory (PTL) and
moves to a strategic location in Tempe, Arizona, USA close to both ASU and
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. With a new facility and additional
human resources, the lab more than doubles its previous capacity and now
provides a unique one-stop source for clients to get full testing and
certification for all safety and performance standards in use by the industry
anywhere in the world. 

The just-opened 40,000 square foot facility is staffed with the world's most
technically competent and capable solar testing team and is equipped with
state-of-the-art solar simulators and temperature-humidity environments.
Clients can take advantage of full system testing for all photovoltaic system
components, including inverters, grid-tied electronics, controllers, motion
and tracking devices, and wireless control electronics. In addition, clients
can get technical direction and testing on standards for newly emerging
technologies such as concentrating photovoltaic, concentrating solar power,
and building-integrated photovoltaic. 

This venture is the product of a farsighted collaboration between TUV
Rheinland and ASU. The former ASU-PTL lab, established in 1992, was the first
accredited photovoltaic qualification testing laboratory in the U.S. and one
of only a few in the world. Many in the solar testing industry today have
roots that connect them to ASU-PTL. 

"Our facility in Tempe serves as a cornerstone of TUV Rheinland Group's
strategy for a global network of photovoltaic testing and certification
services," said Stephan Schmitt, president and CEO of TUV Rheinland North
America Holding, Inc. "The expertise and knowledge of TUV Rheinland PTL's team
combined with the brainpower of ASU's faculty and their outstanding research
reputation in the field of renewable energies represents a unique opportunity
for the solar industry to obtain true and highly sophisticated information and
services. Together with TUV Rheinland's laboratories in Europe and Asia, TUV
Rheinland PTL is able and competent to obtain and deliver global certification
for the solar industry's needs."

Arizona's largest electric provider, Arizona Public Service (APS) worked with
the new venture by providing five acres of outdoor testing space at its
renowned Solar Test and Research (STAR) Center for use in conducting 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
photovoltaic systems, and innovative solar tracking systems. 

"APS shares in the vision of a bright solar energy future for Arizona," said
Don Brandt, president and CEO of Arizona Public Service. "As more
collaborative projects come to fruition, such as the one currently taking
place between APS, ASU, and TUV Rheinland, Arizona will become the solar
capital of the world."

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) also worked closely with TUV Rheinland and
ASU in helping strengthen the university's research infrastructure leading to
the commercialization of products and services that foster new industry

"Science Foundation Arizona leverages the R&D capacity of industry,
universities, and government to focus on innovation breakthroughs of strategic
importance to Arizona's growing technology sector," said William C. Harris,
president and CEO of Science Foundation Arizona and former director of Science
Foundation Ireland. "This new venture by TUV Rheinland builds upon ASU's solar
research expertise and positions the state and ASU as a significant player in
the sizable and growing alternative energy market." Harris announced that SFAz
will establish an office in space provided by TUV to ensure his organization
can most effectively facilitate industry and university R&D.

TUV Rheinland officials believe their new venture will become an industry
leader in promoting technical advancement of the photovoltaic industry and
they plan to eventually move beyond photovoltaics to include other green power
technologies. This is seen as a global opportunity for the industry as well as
a boon for Arizona. 

"In an increasingly clean-tech, green energy world, TUV Rheinland PTL is the
next generation of renewable energy testing," said Rob Melnick, executive
director and COO of the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. "Countries
and businesses world-wide are investing heavily in the renewable sector to
create high paying, high tech jobs all over the world, even in a weak global
economy. In an age of peak oil, it's clear the arena to be in is renewable
energy, now and for the foreseeable future."

About TUV Rheinland(R) 
TUV Rheinland is the world leader in independent testing and assessment
services. The $1.5 billion-corporation is comprised of an international
network of more than 12,500 employees at over 360 locations in 62 countries
and serves most industry sectors and markets worldwide. TUV Rheinland is a
member of the Global Compact of the United Nations, a global network of
companies and interest groups involved in the world's largest voluntary
corporate social responsibility initiative. www.us.tuv.com. 

About ASU's Global Institute of Sustainability
The Global Institute of Sustainability is the hub of ASU's sustainability
initiatives. The Institute advances research, education, and business
practices for an urbanizing world. Its School of Sustainability, the first of
its kind in the US, offers integrated degree programs that advance practical
solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges. ASU has a vision
to be a New American University, blurring the boundaries that traditionally
separate academic disciplines, promoting excellence among its students and
faculty, conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research inspired by real
world application, and leveraging its competitive advantage through strategic
global engagement. http://sustainability.asu.edu. 

About APS and the STAR Center
APS is a subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, a Phoenix-based
company with consolidated assets of about $11.5 billion. Through its
subsidiaries, Pinnacle West generates, sells, and delivers electricity and
sells energy-related products and services to retail and wholesale customers
in the western United States. The STAR Center is APS's 33 acre outdoor testing
facility situated on the grounds of a working power plant where solar energy
technologies can be monitored for reliability and longevity over a period of
decades while providing electricity to the local community.

About Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz)
With the mission of helping spur new innovation in Arizona and developing a
diversified, robust knowledge-driven research and education infrastructure,
SFAz, a 501 (C) (3) public/private partnership, has to date awarded $35
million in 59 innovation investments in communications technology,
biomedicine, and sustainable systems including renewable energies. In just one
year, these investments have demonstrated clear strategic advantages to
Arizona by attracting an additional $43.8 million in outside research dollars,
seeding the development of eight new companies, and fostering science,
engineering, and math skills in over 20,000 students statewide. www.sfaz.org

SOURCE  Arizona State University

Karen Leland, Director, Communications|Marketing of Global Institute of
Sustainability of Arizona State University, USA, +1-480-965-0013,
karen.leland@asu.edu; or Virginia Palmer-Skok, Marketing Manager of TUV
Rheinland of North America, +1-203-426-0888, vpalmerskok@us.tuv.com; or Steven
Gotfried, External Communications-Media Relations of Arizona Public Service,
+1-602-250-3040, cell, +1-602-568-5067, Steven.Gotfried@aps.com; or Terry
Koch, Communications of Science Foundation Arizona, +1-602-682-2800,
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