Mumbai: India’s first mobile solar photovoltaic (PV) testing lab, designed and developed by Mahindra Susten recently completed a milestone 1 GWp of plant testing. Mahindra Susten is part of the $20.7 billion Mahindra Group, and one of the largest Renewable Energy companies in India with a growing global presence.
The Mobile PV Lab offers revolutionary technology which is unique in Asia. It is a one stop mobile solution, which allows performance analysis of solar PV modules, which constitute nearly 70% of the investment for a new Solar PV plant, at the site itself. The testing procedure used in the lab ensures reliability and repeatability in line with standard procedures, leading to similar or better results than any stationary laboratory.
The lab has been accredited with ISO/IEC 17025:2005 certification from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, an autonomous society providing recognition for technical competence during testing and calibration work. It has Mutual Recognition Arrangements with several organizations including the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC), Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA), and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).
The reports generated from the NABL accredited PV labs are at par with the ILAC and APLAC certifications and are accepted in 73 countries. Results from the tests conducted in the Mahindra Susten lab are useful to all stakeholders, be they developers, lenders, manufacturers, EPC companies or even O&M companies, since the results are an important decision-making tool in case of warranty claims against PV module manufacturers or even just to ensure the health and proper functioning of the PV equipment.
The lab, since its launch at the REI Expo 2017 has completed over 1 GWp (1000 MWp) of testing, travelling over 21,000 Kms till date. It is capable of performing all the testing required on the Solar PV module at the site. This provides customers with complete peace of mind, no risk of breakage, immediate reports and value for money.
Key tests that can be performed by this mobile lab include-
Flash Tests : Used to measures the I-V characteristics of PV Module in STC (Standard Test Conditions) to bring out the degradation results.
EL Test: This test gives results similar to X-Ray reports, without the use of any radiation. It is used to highlight cell-level faults and micro cracks within the module. The working principle is that of photo-emission measured by an infrared light-sensitive camera.
Infrared Imaging: This is a common but very effective tool, which measures abnormal thermal behaviour of modules during DC parameter measurements. It is used to find hotspots in modules. The same Thermal Imager can also be used to identify any loose connections and abnormal behaviour in other equipment like Combiner Boxes, Inverters, Transformers and Panels which constitute the Solar PV plant.