Solar PV testing and measurement systems specialist from Germany MBJ Solutions GmbH has co-developed with German independent testing organization TUV Rheinland what they says is the 1st fully fledged and completely dismountable PV laboratory. The tool was developed for TUV Rheinland, which has now put it into operation.
The makers of PV TravelLab, as the product is called, say it can fit into 7 transport cases, hence can travel anywhere across the globe and can also be transported as luggage on an airplane. The only thing it requires is a test room that can be darkened on site which can easily be arranged in the form of an empty freight or office container.
Designed exclusively for TUV Rheinland, the PV TravelLab can test 150 to 200 PV modules a day delivering results soon after testing. It seems to be serving its purpose for TUV Rheinland as it claims to be able to carry out on-site testing of solar modules in accordance with the relevant IEC standards with the help of the new product.
“High-capacity PV modules with PERC or heterojunction (HJT) solar cells are tested on the basis of the ‘Dynamic IV’ process patented by TÜV Rheinland,” explain the German tool developers. “This procedure eliminates the otherwise typical measurement artifacts with these solar module types. A bypass diode test is also possible with the PV TravelLab.” The measuring range of 0-250V and 0-20A within the PV TravelLab allows to test both highly efficient crystalline PV modules and thin-film modules.
MBJ Solutions & TUV Rheinland said they prepared the PV TravelLab combining latest measurement technologies for solar modules as IEC 60904-9 Ed.3 certified A+A+A+LED light source to ensure power measurements with very low measurement uncertainty. There are electroluminescence (EL) cameras in the measuring frame on the rollers with 2×5 megapixel cameras creating a module image to clearly detect cell tears or broken cells, connection problems in cells or an induced degradation as PID or LeTID. EL analysis at 10% of the nominal short-circuit is possible with sensitive cameras.
Since hardware on the lab is controlled via a computer on which evaluation software runs autonomously, detailed reports are readily available on site.
Apart from this exclusively designed product with and for TUV Rheinland, MBJ has been offering a mobile testing lab solution integrated on to a towing trailer for some time now. The company is currently offering a 4th generation of this product called Mobile Lab 4.0 that consists of a TUV certified sun simulator.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said the tool was developed by MBJ for TUV Rheinland, but in fact it was a co-developement of the two.