The Baseline Performance Reference for Irradiance in PV System Applications

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report proposes the definition of a new baseline performance reference (BPR). The definition goes beyond existing standards pertaining to photovoltaic (PV) reference cells and devices to define the response under all possible operating conditions in the field. Field evaluations using BPR devices will be more sensitive to performance anomalies than pyranometers because they track PV system power output more closely. At the same time, they will be able to detect a broader range of performance anomalies than traditional matched reference devices, which might have matching defects. The BPR definition also opens the door to new practices in resource assessment and yield prediction. Solar resource data can be collected or modeled and validated directly as BPR irradiance, and PV system simulations based on BPR irradiance need fewer assumptions and less processing to obtain the effective irradiance on modules. As a result, lower uncertainty in yield assessments can be expected.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5D00-86847


  • baseline performance reference
  • BPR
  • irradiance
  • photovoltaics
  • PV


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