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Our Services

We employ advanced IV Curve analytics to ensure the optimal performance and health of solar installations. This sophisticated diagnostic tool allows us to accurately assess the electrical output and efficiency of each photovoltaic (PV) module, detecting any potential issues such as shading, soiling, or degradation. We provide our clients with precise, actionable data, enhancing the reliability and longevity of their solar energy systems.

IV Curve Analysis

01

Accurate Performance Assessment

IV curve analysis provides a detailed profile of a solar panel's electrical performance, allowing for precise measurement of key parameters such as short-circuit current (Isc), open-circuit voltage (Voc), maximum power point (Pmax), current at maximum power (Im), and voltage at maximum power (Vm). This data is crucial for verifying that panels are operating at their intended capacity.

03

Optimized Energy Production

By identifying and rectifying any defects or inefficiencies early, IV curve analysis helps ensure that a solar system produces energy at its maximum potential. This not only increases the energy yield but also maximizes the financial return on the investment.

02

Early Detection of Faults

IV curves can reveal a variety of issues that might not be detectable through visual inspection or standard monitoring. Problems such as microcracks, mismatched modules, partial shading, and soiling can significantly affect a panel’s output, and IV curve testing helps identify these issues early, preventing larger system failures.

04

Historical Data Tracking

Ongoing IV curve analysis over the life of a solar system provides valuable historical data. This can be used to track the degradation of solar panels over time and to compare the performance of similar installations, aiding in future system design and maintenance strategies.

What is IV Curve ?

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Image source - PVEducation

IV curve analysis is a fundamental diagnostic technique used in the photovoltaic (PV) industry to evaluate the performance of solar panels. The "IV" stands for current (I) and voltage (V), and the analysis involves measuring the current that flows through a solar panel at various voltages. This procedure results in a graph or curve that represents the electrical characteristics of the solar panel under specific conditions.

How IV Curve Analysis Works ?

To perform IV curve analysis, a device called an IV curve tracer is used. This device systematically varies the electrical load applied to the panel and measures the resulting voltage and current output. The primary points noted on the IV curve are:

  • Open-circuit voltage (Voc): The maximum voltage a solar panel can produce when not connected to an electrical circuit or system (i.e., when the circuit is open).

  • Short-circuit current (Isc): The maximum current that flows through the solar panel when the terminals are shorted and there is no external load resistance.

  • Maximum Power Point (Pmax): The point on the curve where the product of the current and voltage values yields the maximum power output, which is critical for optimizing the energy efficiency of solar power systems.

What is the result of IV Curve Analysis ?

  1. Performance Verification: IV curve analysis helps verify that solar panels are producing the expected power output based on their specifications. This is essential for quality control during manufacturing and after installation.

  2. Fault Detection: The analysis can detect a range of issues affecting a solar panel’s performance, including defects like cracks and cell mismatches, as well as external factors like shading or soiling. Each type of defect or issue alters the IV curve in characteristic ways.

  3. System Optimization: By identifying the maximum power point, operators can adjust the operation of solar inverters and other system components to ensure that the solar system operates as close to its optimal point as possible, maximizing efficiency and energy yield.

  4. Degradation Tracking: Regular IV curve testing over the lifetime of a solar installation can track changes and degradation in panel performance, providing essential data for maintenance decisions and warranty claims.

Overall, IV curve analysis is a vital tool in the photovoltaic industry, providing detailed insights into the health and performance of solar panels, aiding in maintenance and optimization, and ensuring the long-term reliability and efficiency of solar energy systems.

SolarWise I-V Curve Analysis and Typical Losses

 

Understanding the I-V curve is essential for diagnosing issues within solar PV systems. SolarWise utilizes I-V curve analysis to pinpoint problems in real time, ensuring optimal performance and longevity of solar installations. Here are common types of losses detected through I-V curve analysis, their probable causes, and how they appear on the curve:

 

Series Losses: These losses are noticeable as a decreased slope or inward tilt of the I-V curve near the open-circuit voltage (Voc). Common causes include corroded or poorly connected array wiring, which increases the series resistance.

 

Shunt Losses: Detected as an increased slope or downward tilt of the curve near the short-circuit current (Isc), these losses can result from cracked cells or damages incurred during manufacturing, transportation, or installation.

 

Mismatch Losses: These appear as notches or kinks in the I-V curve and can be caused by shading, uneven soiling, cracked PV cells, or mismatched modules/cells which disrupt the uniformity of current flow through the string.

 

Reduced Current: A reduction in the height of the I-V curve can occur due to uniform soiling, edge soiling, or weather conditions that reduce irradiance impacting the current output of the modules.

 

Reduced Voltage: The width of the I-V curve can be affected by module temperature. Poor air circulation and inadequate heat dissipation can lower the voltage output.

 

Standards of I-V Curve Testing

 

SolarWise adheres to international standards for I-V curve testing to ensure accurate diagnostics:

 

IEC 61829:2015 - Photovoltaic (PV) array – On-site measurement of current-voltage characteristics.

IEC 62446-1:2016 - Photovoltaic (PV) systems – Requirements for testing, documentation, and maintenance.

IEC 60891:2009 - Procedures for temperature and irradiance corrections to measured I-V characteristics.

 

Limitations of I-V Curve Testing

 

While invaluable, I-V curve testing does have limitations:

 

Time-Specific Data: The data reflects conditions at a specific point in time and is affected by environmental factors, hence cannot serve as real-time monitoring.

 

Diagnostic Limitations: Defects might remain undetected between tests; regular testing (every 6-12 months) is recommended for effective monitoring.

Module Level Analysis: Testing at the string level may not highlight underperformance in neighboring modules unless there is considerable degradation.

 

Resource Intensive: The process requires costly labor and equipment. Proactive engagement with the O&M team to focus on low-performing blocks can optimize testing efforts.

 

Warranty Claims: I-V curve testing identifies probable degradation but cannot confirm it definitively for warranty claims without further analysis at third-party labs.

 

SolarWise integrates these insights to proactively manage and maintain solar PV systems, reducing downtime and enhancing energy output.

Image by Christin Hume

Stages that IV Curve Carry Out

01

-During Manufacturing

-To Check the Quality Before Dispatch

02

-Include Pre Commissioning

-Checking performace before comissioning.

03

-Performance testing.

-Check the performance periodically.

Let's Connect And Get Started

Connect with Hornbill Drone technologies today and experience the most advances technology in PV world. We are there to elevate your energy production in a more effective way than before.

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