Flat-Plate Solar Array (FSA) Project Engineering
Greatly Expanded in 2016 The
PV Publications tab of this web site provides an extensive Bibliography
of over 500 published documents covering the flat-plate array and module
engineering technologies developed between
1975 and 1990 by the participants of the National Photovoltaics Program.
A unique aspect of this expanded collection is its organization by subject
matter and the immediate availability of most of the documents as linked
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 flat-plate module and 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. Collaborators in this effort included our partner National
Laboratories (Sandia, MIT Lincoln Labs and NASA LeRC, and SERI), which
were involved with conducting field demonstration projects, overall PV
system engineering studies, and thin-film cell development.
This web site deals with the portion of the FSA Project and DOE PV Program
that was directed at developing the engineering technology base required
to achieve flat plate PV modules and arrays 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, the portion of these activities internal
to JPL were known by 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.