PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) and Quantified Energy Labs Pte. Ltd. (QE-Labs) have signed an exclusive agreement to provide drone inspection services in the U.S. solar market. PVEL will be the provider of QE-Labs’ autonomous drone electroluminescence (EL) imaging technology for conducting front-end field inspections. The back-end data processing will be handled by QE-Labs in Singapore.
EL imaging is an inspection method that can reveal defects and microcracks of solar cells inside a photovoltaic (PV) module. It is widely used as a tool for quality control in PV manufacturing. For years, PVEL has used a manual daytime EL tester conducting field EL inspection of more than 2 GW of underperforming or damaged PV systems. Currently, EL imaging is only conducted on a sampling basis due to the speed and cost limitations of manual inspection technologies. With this new agreement, PVEL will expand their field testing services to perform faster inspection of large-scale solar assets.
“We are impressed with QE-Labs’ technology, which completed the world’s largest EL inspection in Singapore with a much faster and more cost-effective solution than what is available in the market today,” states Jenya Meydbray, CEO of PVEL. “By leveraging this proprietary technology, PVEL looks forward to bringing this innovative autonomous drone EL solution to the downstream solar community in the U.S.”
The collaboration between QE-Labs and PVEL will provide project developers, asset owners and investors with a comprehensive testing service that will help ensure quality assurance and quality control of solar PV power plants across their 25-year lifecycle.
The drone EL imaging services can assist with identification and evaluation for insurance and/or warranty claim for damaged and/or underperforming PV modules as well as technical due diligence prior to PV asset transaction or leasing. They help with initial site-acceptance-testing (SAT) to exclude physically damaged PV modules caused by poor workmanship and detection of early failures before the defect liability period (DLP) ends, including excessive light induced degraded (LID) PV modules. In addition, annual PV module quality health checks closely monitor up to 100% of the PV system.
“With established success in our home market, we are ready to deploy our autonomous drone solution in more regional markets to support the growth of the global PV industry,” comments Dr. Wang Yan, CEO of QE-Labs. “This collaboration with PVEL is QE-Labs’ first step towards global expansion based on our drone-enabled Data-as-a-Service business model. Together with our partners, QE-Labs will establish a global service network for our clients to use the innovative autonomous drone EL inspection at anytime and anywhere. As global PV installations cross the 1 TW milestone, we hope these innovative services can help drive further investment in and expansion of solar PV projects worldwide.”