The PV Mobile Lab, the mobile testing solution of Enertis has carried out on-site testing of solar projects totaling 300 MW of installed capacity in the first six months of the year. The projects are distributed across more than 20 plants and about 2,000 modules analyzed. This figure contributes towards more than 6,000 inspected panels since the PV Mobile Lab’s launch in 2013.
The work performed by the PV Mobile Lab has allowed the technical assessment of PV modules throughout the sale process of large solar installations, to verify and validate the quality of the modules prior to shipment of supplies from factories. Furthermore, it helps detect and diagnose degradation problems with the modules after the first months of operation. For example, thanks to PV Mobile Lab, Enertis has been able to analyze and diagnose cases of Potential Induced Degradation (PID) at several photovoltaic plants in France and England, estimating with high accuracy the degree of evolution of the issue. In addition, this tool has been used to evaluate, thanks to its Class A+A+A+ solar simulator (IEC 60904), the incidence of different visual defects (“snail trails”, yellowing, etc.) in the capacity of the photovoltaic modules installed to produce energy.
In the first six months of 2015, the PV Mobile Lab has conducted quality controls and tests of projects for most of the major investors, developers and builders of photovoltaic solar plants worldwide such as SunEdison, Lightsource RE, Conergy and Next Energy Capital.
The PV Mobile Lab’s flexibility accompanies Enertis in its international expansion. Since its launch the PV Mobile Lab has been operating in many European countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, in addition to the United States, where Enertis also possesses one mobile laboratory unit.
Furthermore, Enertis is currently developing additional units which, with strategic partners, will allow the company to provide similar on-site services in several important markets such as Japan, China, Brazil, Chile and India.
Enertis helps developers, engineering firms and financial institutions, among other players of this industry, to ensure the profitability of investments in photovoltaic projects, checking the status of the modules and their ability to ensure electricity production during their lifespan, and minimizing the risk of loss of productivity resulting from failure.
PV Mobile Lab
The PV Mobile Lab, designed and developed by Enertis, is the first mobile unit planned to perform on-site quality control of the significant component of photovoltaic plants, the solar module, avoiding its transport to conventional fixed laboratories and significantly reducing the period of time during which the panels are uninstalled to undergo technical inspections and performance tests. This is an important tool when accepting large batches of modules and inspecting for impairments, among other applications, thanks to the measurement of maximum power of the modules under Standard Test Conditions (STC, 25 °C, spectrum AM1.5G and 1,000 W/m2 irradiance), with a low margin of uncertainty.
The laboratory is equipped with a class A+A+A+ solar simulator tunnel type and is able to control environmental conditions. Those are very important features, which ensure that results that results from the measurements obtained have a small margin of error.
The PV Mobile Lab equipment allows performing the following non-destructive testing on the PV modules on-site: Electroluminescence, Thermographic Inspection, Visual Inspection, Maximum Power Measurement and Electrical Insulation. The last three tests are performed following the Conditions Measure standard set in the IEC 61215:2005, whose implementation is accredited according to international standards ISO/IEC 17025: 2005.
In addition to the photovoltaic modules testing, the PV Mobile Lab comes with other necessary equipment to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis of the status of the plant both before and during its implementation.
The PV Mobile Lab has been funded by the Comunidad de Madrid, through aid managed by Madrid Network, an organization created to promote regional industry R&D promoted by the Consejería de Economía, Empleo y Hacienda.