PV Evolution Labs bundles assessments for solar inverters – pv journal USA – pv journal USA
The tests are designed to enable inverter buyers to use empirical data against claims made by product marketing materials.
October 1, 2021
Investors, developers and system owners with commercially sourced solar inverters can work with PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) on its Crowd Power Product Qualification Program (PQP).
The program, which does not require manufacturer involvement, tests inverters to develop data that can help mitigate technology risks and quantify product performance.
"Third-party inverter data is notoriously difficult to obtain from manufacturers," said C.J. Colavito, VP of Engineering at Standard Solar. The Crowd Power PQP aims to solve this data access problem.
The tests largely mirror the PVEL inverter PQP introduced in 2014. Both programs include safety, reliability and performance tests under different environmental and connection conditions.
(Read: "How long do private solar inverters last?")
As planned, the PQP will generate data sheet validation for more accurate performance and yield models, reliability assessments for improved O&M costs, and accuracy of replacement rate prediction. Safety ratings are also provided for the detection of arcing and ground faults.
The crowdsourcing tests are designed to provide inverter buyers with an opportunity to use empirical data against claims made by product marketing materials, PVEL said. Ginlong Solis and Chint Power Systems recently submitted inverters greater than 250 kWh for traditional PQP, but PVEL said most inverter suppliers do not run independent tests that exceed certification standards.
In contrast, solar module manufacturers are more likely to participate in the PQP of PVEL. Around 50 panel manufacturers have tested their panels with PVEL since 2012. About 25 are regularly tested on a regular basis. According to PVEL, module reliability has improved since the introduction of PQP. It said its thermal cycling test showed an average reduction in degradation rate of 70% over that period.
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