TUV Rheinland PTL to Announce New Performance Check, Quality Benchmark Test Services at Intersolar 2013
Quick, Comprehensive Analyses Assure High Quality, Performance of PV Modules At Large-Scale Solar Projects for Developers, Investors
TEMPE, Ariz., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — At Intersolar 2013, booth #7539, TUV Rheinland PTL will be presenting new, practical testing services to evaluate photovoltaic modules delivered to and operating at large-scale photovoltaic power plants. Offered as part of TUV Rheinland’s quality program for solar plant investors, Quick Performance Check and Quality Benchmark are designed to inform project developers and investors if the individual modules and the overall plant operate as designed.
Designed to reduce costs and increase efficiency, the Quick Performance Check test validates the power output of a module operating at a plant as compared to its nameplate. It also identifies quality defects that can occur from micro-cracks or shipping. Sampling is determined statistically per UL 4730 and is based on the flasher measurements of the module manufacturer.
The tests are carried out in TUV Rheinland facilities over the course of a few days. Power output is measured with low measurement uncertainty under standard test conditions and checked against the rated output indicated by the manufacturer. The damage analysis of the modules takes place via electroluminescence imaging, revealing critical types of defects such as micro-cracks or weakened and inactive cell areas. Alongside the individual analysis for each module, TUV Rheinland also produces an overall assessment for each project.
The Quality Benchmark test examines modules supplied for a plant to validate that they actually deliver the stipulated properties. TUV Rheinland takes the modules as test samples straight from the delivery batch to its solar laboratory and tests them for safety, workmanship, production quality, IV performance, and potential-induced degradation (PID). PID causes a reduction in the output of a module when it is exposed to a high voltage difference between the cells and ground during operation. To determine PID, TUV Rheinland works in accordance with the draft standard IEC 62804, in which the degree of susceptibility of the module is determined through a maximum power degradation analysis, visual inspection, and safety testing.
Additionally, TUV Rheinland evaluates modules for the light-induced degradation (LID) effect, a potential power drop for modules after the first few days under solar radiation. The power output measurements and behavior of the modules in terms of PID have a direct impact on the economic efficiency and power output of a photovoltaic power plant and are a key part of the qualification program.
As a leading international testing service provider for the solar industry, TUV Rheinland is active in numerous fields of solar energy research and innovation. In addition to its Tempe, Ariz., location, TUV Rheinland operates test laboratories in Bangalore, India; Gyeongsan, Korea; Cologne, Germany; Osaka and Yokohama, Japan; Shanghai, China; and Taichung, Taiwan. For more information, visit www.tuv.com/us/ptl.
SOURCE TUV Rheinland North America