Focus & Recent Advancements

There are lots of ways to produce energy with growing renewable energy generation— leading the way to a cleaner energy future. Large scale solar energy generation is the reality, but it is limited by our inability to economically store thermal energy from the sun. Southern Research is committed to being the leader in the development, management, and democratization of thermal energy storage for grid-scale electricity generation via Concentrating Solar Power (CSP). Currently, SR is developing the ability to store energy with the goal of deploying it on a large scale, grid level. Southern Research is also working toward a future of interface systems for energy storage — including voltage and frequency regulation — as part of developing a framework for testing and validating storage. Solar energy is our future, and we’re creating the technologies that serve us best.

Capabilities and Expertise

SR has developed a business focused on testing and development of distributed energy generation and storage systems.  In Birmingham, we host the Southeastern Solar Research Center (SSRC), a one-of-a-kind regional solar photovoltaic (PV) exposure facility designed to understand how PV modules perform under different field conditions. We also house a full service laboratory with equipment designed to test the limits of reliability for PV modules. Selected equipment includes accelerated aging environmental chambers, electroluminescence (EL) and thermal imaging systems, dynamic mechanical loading (DML) setup, indoor solar simulator for controlled current-voltage testing, and a variety of outdoor test stands for field exposure testing.  SR is also building a an energy storage research facility in Birmingham, at which SR will assess reliability and long-term cost to operate energy storage systems under grid-connected use conditions.