Solar Technology Centre
Visual Inspection Test
The purpose of this test is to identify and locate visual defects that could have affected the performance of the PV module. The Results of the test are description of founded defects, photos of whole PV module and details of selected defects.
Flash/IV Curve/Real Power at STC Test
Solar Flash Tests (or: Sun Simulator Tests) measure the output performance of a solar PV module and are a standard testing procedure at manufacturers to ensure the conforming operability of each PV module. This test is crucial to draw solid conclusion and serves to validate modules performance as claimed by the manufacturer.
Ultra Violet Pre Conditioning Test
The UV preconditioning test is a test procedure to evaluate the impact degree of ultraviolet degradation of solar panels. UV preconditioning is irradiance tests used to find out to which extend solar panels are susceptible to ultraviolet (UV) degradation and consequently, performance losses. This extreme condition test is mostly applied during solar panel certification.
Hail Impact Test
The hail impact test is a mechanical test that verifies that a solar panel is capable of withstanding the impact of hail storms. The hail impact test is an important solar panel quality and safety test as in many parts of the world; hail can cause major damage to solar panels. Therefore, it’s important to purchase solar panels that have been tested on the impact of hail and have successfully passed the hail impact test for solar panels.
Module Breakage Test
The test is conducted to check the impact resistance of toughened glass, measure the penetration resistance or intensity of toughened glass under different impact height with the same mass. During the performance of the test, the solar panel is positioned vertically on a fixed position. A mass of 45kg is positioned different heights and hit the panel from a distance of 200mm, 300mm and 1200mm.
Insulation, Wet Leakage Current, Dielectric withstanding test
The insulation resistance test is an electrical safety test and shows whether a solar module offers adequate insulation.
With an insulation resistance test, manufacturers, installers and quality testers can assess if a solar panel has adequate insulation between its electricity-conducting components and the module’s frame or, in case of a frameless panel, the outside world. Badly designed PV modules may have insulation problems. Common causes for insufficient insulation are for instance solar cells that are too closely positioned to the frame. Another common cause of insufficient insulation resistance is material weakness, such as modules that were poorly laminated with low quality encapsulate.
Thermal Cycling Test:
The PV Thermal Cycling Test is an environmental test that simulates thermal stresses on the solar panel by fluctuating extreme temperatures. The thermal cycling test is performed by placing the to- be-tested solar panel in a heat chamber which is heated and cooled from -40°C to +75°C. The solar panel needs to endure frequent and vast change from one temperature extreme to the other.
Damp Heat Test:
The PV Damp Heat Test is an accelerated environmental aging test that determines the ability of the solar panel to withstand long-term exposure to high temperature and penetration of humidity. This test particularly challenges the lamination process of the PV module and the edge sealing from humidity. The peel strength of the PV modules that are laminated according to the traditional lamination process is decisive.
Water Spray Test System
This system composed of a stand on which a solar panel is fixed and water spray valves are connected to a water source. Pressure gauges and valves are attached to the spray system to increase and decrease the pressure. During this test, water is sprayed onto the panel at different pressures for certain time and water leakage and frame insulation are measured afterwards.
Reverse Current Over Load Test
When a PV array is exposed to light, PV modules within the array normally operate at a voltage between zero and the module’s rated Open Circuit Voltage (Voc). When the modules are generating electrical power, the conventional flow of current through the module moves from the negative to the positive terminal. If an abnormal condition develops within the array and positive voltage bias significantly in excess of the rated Voc is applied to a PV module (or series of modules), and if sufficient current is present, current will flow though the module in a reverse direction (positive to negative), Under this scenario, instead of generating electrical power, a PV module behaves as a load and attempts to dissipate electrical power mainly in the form of heat. When this power dissipation exceeds the level that can be tolerated by the module (as defined by module safety tests), the module experiences a condition known as a Reverse Current Overload (RCOL). There may be a risk of RCOL if a single PV module is exposed to positive voltage biases in excess of ~1.4 times its labeled Voc. An RCOL condition can cause the PV module to dissipate electrical power which can result in module overheating and eventually failure. A string of PV modules may also be affected in a similar manner if the string is positive biased in excess of 1.4 times the sum of the Voc ratings of the PV modules in the affected string.
Bypass Diode Thermal Test
Bypass diodes are installed in the junction box at the back of solar panels. These diodes are tested in this test. A temperature of 100 degrees Celsius is applied to the diodes for a period of 1 hour and its performance is checked afterwards.
Salt Mist Corrosion Test
Solar PV panels are subjected to continuous outdoor exposure during their lifetime. Highly corrosive wet atmospheres like marine environments could eventually degrade some of the PV panel components (corrosion of metallic parts, worsening of the properties of some non-metallic materials – such as protective coatings and plastics – by assimilation of salts, etc.) causing permanent damages that could affect their functioning. The IEC 61701 Standard describes test sequences used to determine the resistance of different solar PV panels to corrosion from salt mist containing Cl- (NaCl, MgCl2, etc.). During the performance of this test, the solar PV panels are exposed to aggressive salt-spray conditions during a specified period. The solar module is passed, if it shows after the test’s nonvisible traces of delimitation, corrosion, yellowing, blistering or fractures and its electric output are not affected.