Flat-Plate Solar Array (FSA) Project Engineering
The Flat-Plate Solar Array (FSA) Project, funded by the U.S. Government
and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was formed in 1975 by the
U.S. Department of Energy to develop the module/array technology needed
to attain widespread terrestrial use of photovoltaics by 1985. To accomplish
this, the FSA Project established and managed an Industry, University,
and Federal Government Team to perform the needed research and development.
This web site deals with the portion of the FSA Project that was directed
at developing the engineering technology base required to achieve modules
that meet the functional, safety and reliability requirements of large-scale
terrestrial photovoltaic systems applications. These activities included:
of functional, safety, and reliability requirements for such applications;
of the engineering analytical approaches, test techniques, and design
solutions required to meet the requirements;
and procurement of candidate designs for test and evaluation;
of extensive testing, evaluation, and failure analysis to define design
shortfalls and, thus, areas requiring additional research and development.
During the life of the FSA Project, these activities were known by and
included a variety of evolving organizational titles: Design and Test,
Large-Scale Procurements, Engineering, Engineering Sciences, Operations,
Module Performance and Failure Analysis, and at the end of the Project,
Reliability and Engineering Sciences.
The PV Publications tab of this
web site provides a complete Bibliography of the nearly 400 published
documents covering the accomplishments and technologies developed during
both the FSA project (1975 to 1986), and during follow-on activites from
1986 to 1991. These follow-on activities were principally focused on thin-film
PV module technologies funded by the Solar Energy Research Instritute
(SERI, now NREL) in Golden, CO and on concentrator PV module technologies
funded by Sandia Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM.
Links are provided to PDF versions of many of these documents to aid
in acquiring them.