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Portable LED Flasher - a Cost Effective Tool to Improve Quality of Field Tests
F.P. Baumgartner, D. Schär, R. Knecht, F. Carigiet, C. Frei, F. Beglinger
Operation, Performance, Reliability and Sustainability of Photovoltaics
Subtopic: PV Cells and Modules
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5BV.4.14
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
0,00 EUR
Document(s): poster


Today’s costs of PV modules nominal power measurements exceed the individual costs of the PV modules itself, if the tests are performed in certified independent laboratories even with very high sample numbers. This will restrict significantly the demand of warranty claims if individual PV modules became inefficient. In recent years, other measurement solutions were presented by dismounting and testing the PV modules right in the field.[1] Especially in larger PV power plants, these industrial flashers were used, integrated in vehicles like buses or trailers. However, additional manpower costs emerged by dismounting and mounting the PV modules again. In addition, there is a loss in energy yield as a result of switching off the inverter. In some cases, ancillary mechanical damages were induced due to the PV module handling forcing micro cracks and power losses. Beside the needs to replace a low power PV module to improve the plant yield, the total quality of a large plant would be perfectly assessed by nominal power measurement of each PV module. The knowledge of the power distribution characteristics of each string and the whole plant may also help to predict further total yield reduction in the coming years. In 2014 the portable LED flasher was introduced by placing the device on top of the original field mounted PV module and performing nominal power tests as well as by-pass diode checks.[2] Here, the practical experience of such performed field tests with high throughput will be reported. The features of the next advanced portable LED prototype will be discussed, embedded in a wider quality test concept.