PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), an independent test lab for the global downstream solar industry, has opened an advanced inverter test center with 1500 V capabilities at its newly renovated South San Francisco lab.
The company is now evaluating the performance, reliability and functionality of string inverters and power electronics for solar projects of almost any scale. PVEL previously conducted inverter testing at its Berkeley headquarters.
“In the past 12 months, we have observed inverter failures accounting for nearly 80% of lost production in PV power plants before the interconnection point and a major portion of unscheduled maintenance costs,” says Joe Kastner, CEO of Radian Generation.
“Understanding inverter quality and supply chain constraints are key to controlling and understanding these costs. Inverters are critical to the financial performance of solar power plants and PVEL’s independent testing is a great tool for understanding inverter risk and informing procurement decisions,” he adds.
First established in 2014, PVEL’s PV Inverter Product Qualification Program (PQP) is a suite of tests that replicate field failures as well as operating behavior that reduces energy yield. The program evaluates inverters beyond certification safety tests and datasheet specifications so that buyers can accurately model performance under varying environmental and interconnection conditions.
The following product qualification services are now available at PVEL’s inverter test center:
- Customizable, plug-and-play evaluations of 600 V, 1000 V and 1500 V products that span the entire spectrum of the market from a 320 W microinverter to a 1500 V string inverter
- System-level testing of ancillary equipment including rapid shutdown devices, optimizers and communications products
- Advanced evaluations of a product’s ability to interface with the local utility grid in compliance with recent IEEE and California Rule 21 mandates
Like all PVEL test programs, the PV Inverter PQP is regularly updated in response to technology advancements and evolving market needs and regulations.
For more information, click here to download PVEL’s PV Inverter PQP brochure.